Here’s Why I’m a ‘Hell No’ on National Popular Vote in Nevada

On Tuesday, I testified in opposition to Nevada’s Assembly Joint Resolution 6, (AJR6) in the state Senate’s Committee on Legislative Operations and Elections. AJR6 is a proposed amendment to the state constitution, tying our six presidential electors to the National Popular Vote (NPV). A colleague recently wrote in support of the NPV on a national level, but I feel that a state-centric view looks quite different.

Nuts and Bolts of NPV

I will give you the nuts and bolts in the most simplified form of this debate:

  • Should the state’s electoral votes be awarded to the state’s declared winner of the presidential election?


  • Should those electors be awarded to the winner of the national popular vote, instead?

NPV is being attempted through an interstate compact, which is controversial, raising questions of constitutionality.

Common constitutional arguments are made citing Articles II and V. Article II Section 1 (as amended by the 12th) gives state legislatures full authority on how to assign electors, prompting the argument that if you want to fundamentally change the intent of the founders that the states select the President, then you must amend the Constitution to do a National Popular Vote, and the process to amend is what Article V is all about.

If that layman’s explanation frustrates your sensibilities… just wait until it’s in front of the US Supreme Court and we get to hear their surprise ideas on the Constitution. But, if this is an issue you would like to dive in and learn more about, you can find arguments in support at National Popular Vote and arguments in opposition to the compact at Save Our States.

Pat Rosenstiel, a senior consultant to National Popular Vote said:

No single reform will do more to end the current battleground state chaos and restore faith in our democracy and its highest office,

I wouldn’t want anything to “end the current battleground state chaos,” I recently published an article titled: Nevada Isn’t Blue, It’s a Battleground for the Senate in 2024. (If you’re a TLDR person who clicked on a long-form article: I want to keep that so-called battleground state chaos in Nevada and for the benefit of Nevada.)

First, Let’s Get Uncomfortable

Now, if you were sitting in this particular meeting with me on Tuesday, you would hear the scholarly yet somewhat condescending arguments from the spokespeople… or as I call them, mostly non-Nevadans. Inexplicably, speakers seemed to use the public comment as a secondary presentation opportunity to filibuster, although the meeting agenda only allotted two minutes per speaker. Perhaps people who don’t live in Nevada didn’t notice that such an outlined time limit wasn’t enforced but, this ain’t my first rodeo and I’ve never seen that happen before. If it’s unusual in the legislature, I’ll bet it’s on purpose. (Admittedly, I went less than a minute over the unenforced rule, but hardly willful or in an attempt to monopolize time with my voice. My testimony is linked below.)


Shawn Meehan is a Nevadan who testified in opposition to AJR6 on Tuesday, in Reno. Meehan, a 20-year Air Force Veteran and Founder of Guard The Constitution, focuses on teaching Constitutional Originality to legislators, and the public.

Meehan characterized the hearing in a version of a former President Ronald Reagan quote, telling RedState:

 ‘Our opponents just know so much that isn’t so,’ lying in some ways; stretching the truth in others.

Senator Lisa Krasner (R) did pull out a well-worn pocket Constitution, which she called “an old book” and teased that maybe others had heard of it, before asking the hard-hitting questions.

They recessed in the middle of the meeting because Nevada Congresswoman Dina Titus (D) was giving an address in the NV legislature, so a bell rang that called our representatives away. We watched (kind of) from our cellphones in the remote satellite room in Las Vegas, because the speech wasn’t being broadcast on-screen to those who showed up to participate in the civic process.

It went like this: They elected members to usher her in and out of the chamber (are you kidding me?) and voted on a symbolic motion to “thank her”… all while she wore a big graphic swan on her sweater and spoke in a deeply Southern accent about public lands. I know it’s not dry-boarding. That doesn’t mean it is comfortable to watch.

Nevada’s Version

Now that I’ve set the tone for the fact that I’m only participating as an obligation to my state, let’s talk about the shenanigans. Well, last session (this is at least the fourth time it has been introduced in NV) the NPV compact was brought as a bill. That bill was vetoed by then-Governor Sisolak, a dutiful Democrat. Now, the bill has morphed into a resolution to amend the state constitution, through a process that requires the legislature to pass it with identical language in two consecutive sessions and then be approved by voters on the ballot. To underscore the motive of this bait-and-switch maneuver, the resolution provides that once the state constitution is amended, and the compact enacted upon reaching the 270 electoral vote threshold of member-states, then the legislature gets the power to leave, or rejoin, the compact by statute.


If that sounds confusing, it’s because it’s never happened in the history of our state. Voter-enacted language, intent, or what have you, cannot be changed by the state legislature without going back to the ballot for voter approval, while AJR6 proposes that the powers be thrown back to the legislative branch. Needless to say, that’s a kerfuffle. When a question was posed to the legislative legal representative, as to the constitutionality or relevant legal precedents of such a provision, he answered, “I don’t know.”

The elephant in the room was why this resolution proposed such a thing. The only explanation is to get around the veto because while we have a Republican Governor, Joe Lombardo, NPV was previously vetoed by a Democrat one.

First in the West

And, the reasons for that have everything to do with… Nevada. Nevada is the “First in the West” to vote in presidential primaries (formerly caucus in Nevada) and it wasn’t because this honor was bestowed upon us in some raffle. For anybody that knows the sausage-making of politics, it was certainly finagled through the efforts of the late Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D) bringing the idea to fruition in 2008, and through the end of his life, he wanted to push for more… for Nevada to be first in the nation.

My testimony in opposition to AJR6 hat-tipped the Democratic demagogue, in part because it’s plainly true and in part, because I wanted to speak to the Senators in their language, a dialect even Congresswoman Titus would know: political legacy and unadulterated ambition.



Nevada’s prominent position of influence as an early state brings hundreds of millions of dollars in economic activity. In 2022’s midterm elections, Nevada was the third highest state in political advertising spending from August to November to the tune of $312.5 million, while embattled in a decisive race for the Senate majority. While I referenced this coolly in my testimony as “advertising dollars and campaign dollars,” there’s not a political hack in earshot that didn’t know that I was talking about hundreds of millions.

Again, if those numbers make you uncomfortable that some TV stations and campaign staffers are getting a check, know that today, it is lobbyists getting paid and tomorrow it will be lawyers and court fees, as this compact inevitably gets challenged at the highest levels.

Chaos, You Say?

The risks of likely stalling or super-complicating the most important election in the free world aren’t inconsequential. While I’m not a fan of looking into my crystal ball and predicting civil unrest… I think that scenario is a proverbial powder keg. More so, I think we are going to have states in an uproar over their admissions in the Union if it is enacted in the first place. Non-member states are going to feel like NPV states contracted or colluded their electors to the tune of 270 electoral votes, and that the way the non-members’ states are assigning their electoral votes simply will not matter. So, if a state feels that they are de facto not a participant in the federal election… that brings us to “no taxation without representation.”

I’m not advocating for civil instabilities or unrest, changes to our Union of States, or anything bad to happen at all… to be clear, I am seeking to avoid it because it’s inherently anti-American to put states in such a position. I just don’t expect it to go over too smoothly, so I’d rather have the bright-eyed, do-gooder campaign staffers and advertising revenues in my state, alternatively.

Meehan said it better, telling RedState:

To me, this can’t pass. This is a huge issue. If we don’t have a Constitution intact, and we don’t have the people and the states represented, and we don’t have the basic original structure of the Constitution, it will accelerate a disintegration of how our republic functions.

Silver State Sentiments

When I began writing for RedState, it was to offer coverage from the Nevada battleground, not delivered by a disconnected commentator, but by someone who knew the political climate and was in on the action. I wasn’t the only contributor with this mission, either. There were other key states thoughtfully covered in 2022 for our national readership.

The truth is, Nevada’s six electors make up two percent of the magic 270 number needed to elect a President. When I started getting calls in November of 2020 from anxious friends around the country awaiting vote totals, I put them out of their misery: “If you’re counting on Clark County, we’re screwed.” And yet, because of the competitive races, particularly in the Senate, because of the population’s demographic composition including large blocks of Latino and Independent voters, its balance of rural and urban regions, and the ability to be a bellwether: We matter.


And, that might not sit well with you if you are in a “fly-over” state, an out-sized influence, one might argue. I can respect that position and agree that Nevada can have an impact on shaping not only our state, but other western states and beyond, as far as what we want presidential candidates to look like. But, we aren’t commandeering your ability to decide for your own state, which is what the NPV explicitly does.

There’s a concept in Washington, the farther your state is away, the less attention it gets federally. Maybe with an exception for California, but: out of sight, out of mind. When a would-be political fly-over state has instead found itself a contender, representatives can bid for consideration in DC that the state wouldn’t otherwise receive. And that is in the interest of Nevadans — that our issues get looked at when they otherwise may not. Is DC “fair”? I’ve never heard it described that way. But, being an influential primary state sure isn’t the dirtiest maneuver to get work done, either, more like a side-effect of “mattering.”

If I am going into the Nevada legislature, as a Nevadan, regarding a proposal to amend Nevada’s Constitution, you can bet I’m going to speak to the interests of Nevada. Meanwhile, other people came from somewhere else to advocate for the interests they found… somewhere else.

You can muse that I’m some big beneficiary of the so-called battleground chaos, but that’s laughable at best. Of the hundreds of millions that I noted poured into the state, I received exactly zero dollars. Except for a season of writing about Nevada, I’m just in the sweltering Vegas sun, day after day, year after year, for free. In the legislative hearings, for free. Organizing, for free. Many of you are active in your communities, I don’t have to tell you about volunteerism. I’ve done zero paid campaign or similarly situated work in Nevada, but I’ve gotten plenty of sunburns.

So why do we do it? Me, you, or anybody motivated voluntarily? To keep the bastion of hope alive where it still can be found. So that hope for the future doesn’t die on our watch. So that we don’t lose momentum. So that we aren’t the last generation to carry the torch of freedom, or challenge the status quo. We will lose the state when hope dies here. We will go into a civic dark age.


I wrote about that here: Nevada Is the Perfect Political Storm and This Is Not a Drill.

And, I won’t usher that in because Nevada’s six electoral votes are so important to some compact that they must be seized from us to reflect a collective will that isn’t our own.

Meehan describes the NPV compact, telling RedState:

It’s as simple as this, the NPV fundamentally changes the intent of the founders that a state controls its electoral votes. NPV would mean that the entire country votes Nevada’s vote, not Nevadans.


Touching on my opposition testimony to AJR6, I believe if passed, Nevadans would not be confident in their elections systems, if the legislature was voting differently every two years on joining or leaving the NPV compact. That’s the real risk of chaos. That’s not knocking on doors and talking to voters until it’s too late in the evening, chaos. It’s not “I can’t stand to see another political TV ad,” chaos. It’s unstable from one year to the next. It’s partisan, it’s opportunistic, and it’s inconsiderate to Nevadans.

Next, an uncharted provision that tosses the will of the people back to the legislature will undoubtedly end up being challenged in the Nevada State Supreme Court, (while the compact itself will make its way through federal challenge and interpretation) and neither those in support, opposed, nor neutral legal advisors, can tell you how the courts would rule. We don’t know, that part was true, even if uncomfortable for the individual that had to give that paltry answer — it was a responsible and credible response.

Lastly, the good people of Nevada elected Governor Lombardo in 2022, who included election security and transparency in his platform. Governor Lombardo (who is often simply referred to as Joe ’round these parts) brought these items to the legislature, as he promised Nevadans he would.

On Wednesday, state Democrats held media events outlining their priorities for the rest of the session. Better Nevada PAC responded in kind with trucks bearing digital banners urging passage of the Governor’s sponsored election-related legislation.


As I said in my testimony, I do not feel the ideas that I have laid out are hyper-partisan ideas; they are pro-Nevada ideas. While the Nevada legislature pushes this radical constitutional amendment, crafted as an experiment in ‘getting their way’, they are ignoring mandates that the voters already gave them. They already don’t care what we vote for, unless it’s giving them a monopoly on interrupted power.

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