What is a Closed Primary Election?

What is a Closed Primary Election and How Your Choice of Party Affiliation Affects You in an Election?

Federal/State Primary Elections (CLOSED) - Even-Numbered Years

What Is a Primary Election?         

A Primary Election is a preliminary (nominating) election to select, when necessary, Democratic, Republican and nonpartisan candidates who will run in the General Election contests (except candidates for U.S. President/Vice President and special district offices, who will only appear in the General Election). The direct vote of the people selects the candidates, rather than votes of convention delegates.

Nevada Is a CLOSED Primary Election State            

In Nevada, Federal/State Primary Elections are "CLOSED." That means if you chose Democratic or Republican as your party on your Voter Registration Application, you may vote only for candidates from your own party and you may also vote in nonpartisan contests. If you chose a party affiliation that was anything other than Democratic or Republican, you may vote only in nonpartisan contests. Note that ballot questions will not appear in the Primary Election.

•  Major Political Parties:

°  Democratic: If you are a registered with the Democratic Party, you may vote in your precinct's contests which select Democratic candidates AND in all of your precinct's nonpartisan contests.

°  Republican: If you are a registered Republican, you may vote in your precinct's contests which select Republican candidates AND in all of your precinct's nonpartisan contests.

•  Other Political Parties and Affiliations:                        

If you are not registered as a Democratic or Republican, you may vote for ONLY Nonpartisan CONTESTS for your precinct. Minor party, other party and independent candidates (no party affiliation) only appear in the General Election, NOT the Primary Election.

°  Minor Political Parties:  If your Voter Registration Application indicates that your party is one that is classified as "minor party," you may vote for ONLY Nonpartisan CONTESTS for your precinct.  CLICK HERE to view the list of officially recognized minor parties (those with and without ballot access) in the State of Nevada (pursuant to NRS 293.171):

°  All Other Political Parties: If your Voter Registration Application indicates that your party is one not officially recognized as a major or minor party by the State of Nevada, your affiliation will be classified as "other."  You may vote for ONLY Nonpartisan contests for your precinct.

°  No Political Party (Nonpartisans or "Independents"):  If your Voter Registration Application indicates that you are "nonpartisan" or that you are an "independent," i.e., not affiliated with any political party, your affiliation will be classified as "nonpartisan" and it will be listed as "nonpartisan." You may vote for ONLY Nonpartisan contests for your precinct.

Federal/State General Elections - Even-Numbered Years

Candidates who receive the most votes in a General Election are elected to office. You may vote for all offices and questions on the ballot for your precinct, regardless of your party affiliation.

Presidential Caucuses in Nevada - Presidential Election Years

Pursuant to Nevada law, Nevada does not conduct Primary Elections to select Presidential candidates. Instead, major political parties will hold caucuses at dates, times and locations that they will determine. The Washoe County Registrar of Voters is not involved with these caucuses.

CLICK HERE for more information regarding Presidential Caucuses.

TO CHECK YOUR VOTER REGISTRATION AND PARTY AFFILIATION IF YOU ARE REGISTERED IN WASHOE COUNTY, CLICK HERE.

TO VOLUNTEER TO BE A POLL WORKER, CLICK HERE.