Civics Voter Guide

Nevada Civics Guide

Offices up for election
U.S. Senate 6-Year Term

A U.S. Senator serves in the legislative branch of the federal government in Washington, D.C.  Senators serve on committees, submit laws, debate laws and budgets, and vote on laws and budgets.  Senators also confirm federal judges, and ambassadors, and approve treaties.  In cases of impeachment, the Senate decides if an impeached elected or appointed federal official is removed from office.

U.S. House of Representatives 2-Year Term

A member of the House of Representatives, otherwise known as a Congressman or Congresswoman, serves on committees, submits laws, debates laws and budgets, and votes on laws and budgets.  When a federal official has done something that may be considered a “high crime and misdemeanor,” articles of impeachment against that person.  If the members of the House of Representatives find enough evidence to bring charges against the federal official, members can vote to impeach that person.

Governor 4-Year Term

In Nevada, the Governor is head of the Executive Branch of the state government.  The Governor’s office creates the state budget, signs or vetoes laws that are approved by the legislative branch of government, appoints members of the public to commissions, appoints the heads of major state agencies, and grants pardons.

Lieutenant Governor 4-Year Term

In Nevada, the Lieutenant Governor serves as the President of the State Senate, which means the Lt. Governor manages the Senate’s floor sessions.  The Lt. Governor serves in place of the Governor if the Governor leaves the state or is incapacitated for any reason.  The Lt. Governor serves on the Governor’s cabinet as an advisor, Chairs the Commission on Tourism and Advisory Board on Outdoor Recreation, and serves as the Vice Chair of the Board of Directors of the Department of Transportation.

Secretary of State 4-Year Term

The Secretary of State maintains the records of the Executive and Legislative branches of government.  The Secretary of State supervises state and local elections and maintains records of candidate contributions and expenses.  The Secretary of State registers businesses, nonprofit organizations, and trade names, enforces security laws, and serves on many boards and commissions.


Attorney General 4-Year Term

The Attorney General is the Chief Legal Counsel of the state and represents the state in court cases.  The Attorney General provides legal counsel to state officials, agencies, boards, and commissions.  The Attorney General works with local and federal law enforcement to solve crimes.

Treasurer 4-Year Term

The Treasurer is the Chief Financial Officer of the state and invests state funds and maintains the state budget.  The Treasurer maintains college saving plans, keeps records of unclaimed property, and maintains the state’s financial records.

Controller 4-Year Term

The Controller process and record the state’s financial transactions, and conduct the final audit in compliance with the state Constitution, federal laws, and statutes.  The Controller provides citizens, local, state officials, and legislators with impartial financial information.  The Controller recommends plans to support public credit, frugality, and better management of state funds.

State Senate 4-Year Term

State Senators serve in the state legislature to serve on committees, propose and debate bills, vote to make bill laws, and debate and pass the state budget.

State Assembly 2-Year Term

Members of the Assembly serve in the state legislature to serve on committees, propose and debate bills, vote to make bills laws, and debate and pass the state budget.

University Board of Regents 6-Year Term

Regents set policies and approve budgets for the Nevada System of Higher Education’s eight institutions.  This includes four community colleges, one state college, two universities, and one research institute.

District Attorney 4-Year Term

The District Attorney leads an office of prosecutors who brings charges against individuals who are being accused of various crimes in Nevada’s seventeen counties. Based on evidence gathered by the police and other investigators, the District Attorney’s Office decides how to charge those individuals and then prosecutes those individuals in court. The District Attorney’s Office can also negotiate plea agreements.

Sheriff 4-Year Term

Sheriffs in Nevada’s seventeen counties manage the county’s police force.  The county police force attends to all civil and criminal actions in the county.

Assessor 4-Year Term

The county assesses all property in a county for tax purposes.  County assessors do not set the tax rate, the legislature passes the tax rates.

Clerk-Recorder 4-Year Term

A county clerk-recorder records a county’s official records.

School Board Trustee 4-Year Term

School Board Trustees serve on a board and provide oversight, make policies, implement collectively bargained contracts, and implement laws passed by the legislature related to K-12 education in Nevada’s seventeen counties.  Trustees can make policies but lack the authority to raise funds, pass laws, or have managerial control over each school district’s employees.

County Treasurer 4-Year Term

The County Treasurer bills and collects taxes on all real property in a county. The office then distributes that revenue to the various taxing entities, such as the Regional Transportation Center.  The County Treasurer invests county funds and administers county banking services. Lastly, the County Treasurer auctions delinquent property.

Public Administrator 4-Year Term

A county’s Public Administrator manages a person’s estate if that person did not leave a will or other instructions for the disbursement of their property after death.

County Commissioner 4-Year Term

County Commissioners set policies and ordinances for the seventeen counties.  County Commissions also oversee the implementation of state laws and their own policies and ordinances.  County Commissioners oversee zoning, some utilities, and county-level emergency services.  All other powers delegated to the counties by Nevada’s legislature are also under the power of the seventeen county commissions. The state legislature has ultimate authority but can delegate power down to other bodies.

City Council 4-Year Term

City Councilors are the main governing officials for Nevada’s cities.  The City Council passes ordinances, makes decisions about zoning and passes a city budget based on tax revenue and various types of fees.  The state legislature has ultimate authority but can delegate power down to other bodies.

City Mayor 4-Year Term

City mayors preside over city council meetings, represent the city at the county, state, and federal level, and represent all residents of a city on the city council.

District Court 6-Year Term

A district court judge hears all types of cases in criminal, civil, and family legal disputes. District court judges also hear appeals from Justice and Municipal courts.  Judges cannot answer how they will rule in cases, judges are required to hear the facts of each case impartially.

Family Court 6-Year Term

Family court judges hear cases dealing with divorce, child custody, child support, and adoption.

Justice of the Peace 6-Year Term

A Justice of the Peace hears misdemeanors, traffic cases, arraignments, civil disputes, and small claims cases.

Constable 4-Year Term

Constables serve warrants from the courts.