Opinion: Silver State Equality is Getting Out the Vote

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By André C. Wade

May 24, 2024

This Piece was previously published in the Las Vegas Pride Magazine; click on this link to read their publication.

 

History will remember what we do this election. Will the American people – will Nevadans – rise in support of democracy? Will they speak out in defense of a society that is fair, just and equal for all Americans, and against assaults on LGBTQ+ rights; on reproductive freedoms; on racial injustice? The imperative to take action has never been greater. If we are to advance pro-LGBTQ+ initiatives instead of just blocking an anti-LGBTQ+ agenda, it comes down to this year’s election.

While the LGBTQ+ community in Nevada has made progress toward the goal of both social and legal equality, we know how rapidly elected representatives and the courts can reverse those advances. The ACLU is currently tracking 484 anti-LGBTQ+ bills across the nation, ranging from the redefinition of sex, forced outing, and curriculum-banning in schools to healthcare restrictions. All this is happening while states like Arizona are taking drastic measures to restrict the reproductive freedoms of its citizens. And make no mistake, reproductive rights are LGBTQ+ rights.

It must be said that Nevada’s legislature and other powerbrokers have helped make our state a beacon of hope for LGBTQ+ rights. We should be proud of our many accomplishments. But, anti-equality leaders – nationally and even in Nevada – are showing us their road map. Their destination is a country where our fundamental rights are erased.

The rise of anti-LGBTQ+ laws and the infusion of hateful rhetoric into the country’s discourse have left many in our community wondering how to make a difference.

One answer is to VOTE!

National, state, and local elections give us an opportunity to ensure that LGBTQ+ voices are heard, to support the issues we believe in, and to elect candidates who advocate for LGBTQ+ rights.

We hear a lot about people who intend to sit out the election because they don’t like their choices in the presidential election. Taking a pass is simply not an option. Positive change does not occur when you are sitting on the couch, and the negative consequences will escalate.

Silver State Equality encourages every eligible person to vote and recommends the following steps to help ensure you can exercise your right to vote.

Register to vote, or ensure that you are registered to vote

    • You can verify your voter registration status, register to vote, or update voter registration online at NV.gov. You can also register at any Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles location.
    • 17-year-olds can also pre-register to vote.
    • Deadlines for voter registration: online registration – five days before election day; register by mail – must be postmarked 28 days before election day. In person registration is available up to and including on election day.

    You can find more election information at https://silverstateequality.org/elections/

Help others exercise their right to vote:

  • You can have an enormous impact by encouraging LGBTQ+ people and other allies in your community to show up at the polls or to mail in their vote-by-mail ballots. Also consider volunteering for pro-LGBTQ+ candidates’ campaigns.

Vote!

  • Nevada will hold its Primary election on Tuesday, June 11, while the General election is Tuesday, November 5.
  • In addition to the U.S. Presidential election this year, there are numerous state and local elections that can have a direct impact on our civil rights, including the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives. Additionally, Nevadans will be asked to vote for candidates running for the Nevada Supreme Court; Nevada State Senate and Assembly; City Councils; Municipal Court Judges; County Commissions; Mayors; and school boards, among others.

 

Silver State Equality encourages LGBTQ+ and pro-equality voters alike to make their voices heard in the 2024 election. LGBTQ+ Nevadans and our allies have an opportunity to decide this election – to decide who will represent us in the White House and Congress, and also in our local communities. Generations of leaders fought and died for our right to vote – it’s up to all of us to use it.

  • André C. Wade

    André C. Wade is the State Director for Silver State Equality. In this role he leads legislative, fundraising, political and advocacy activities. He has worked in human services and advocacy for more than 25 years in various public and non-profit contexts. Mr. Wade has worked on issues such as developmental disabilities, child welfare, national policy focused on youth experiencing homelessness, diversity, equity and inclusion, and LGBTQ+ advocacy. André is a two-time appointee to Governor Sisolak’s Advisory Task Force on HIV Exposure Modernization for the State of Nevada and a former appointee to the advisory committee of the Nevada Office of Minority Health and Equity. Currently, Mr. Wade sits on the board for Raise the Future and the Equality Federation.

CATEGORIES: LGBTQ

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