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Question 4: What does it mean? Voters' Bill of Rights on the ballot in Nevada

Posted at 6:16 AM, Oct 13, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-13 09:29:57-04

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Voting has been the foundation of American democracy for more than two centuries, and Question 4 on the 2020 general election ballot proposed integrating a Voters' Bill of Rights into the Nevada Constitution.

State Sen. Pat Spearman has been leading a charge to get Question 4 passed as voters prepare to head to the polls beginning in mid-October.

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"There are certain things that are fundamental to our rights as Americans," Spearman said.

Question 4 would enshrine a list of voting protections in the constitution including the right to vote without being intimidated, vote without facing discrimination, be provided a clear and easy to understand paper ballot and receive help voting if necessary.

"People do a lot of uninformed things, shall I say, do a lot of uninformed things to make it more challenging for people to vote," Spearman said.

The protections included in Question 4 have been included in state law for nearly two decades, but Spearman has been concerned that new legislatures could overturn any voting protection in a single session of the legislature.

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She said Question 4 would make it much more difficult for voter protections to be changed.

"If we don't add this to our constitution," she said, "then a legislature in 2023, 25, whatever, could come and say, well, we don't believe in this anymore."

Up to now, no group has come forward and expressly pushed for a "no" vote on Question 4, but the state's "Arguments Against Passage" said the inability to easily change the list of voting rights could be its biggest problem.

The arguments said that, in a world of rapidly changing technology, protections like a mandate voters receive a paper ballot could be made obsolete and couldn't be changed.

RELATED: Election 2020: Track your mail-in ballot in Nevada

In an interview with Good Morning America, Attorney General Aaron Ford said the existing laws, with or without the Voters' Bill of Rights, will be enforced to protect the populace's rights and the election's integrity.

"My office is going to be vigilant when it comes to enforcing the right to vote and prosecute those who violate the rules associated with it," Ford said.

If passed, Nevada would be the first state in the country to include a Voters' Bill of Rights in their constitution.

Early voting begins in Nevada on Oct. 17 and Election Day is Nov. 3.