August – November, 2014
Nevadans for a Court of Appeals (Yes on 1)
Statewide Ballot Question Campaign
The goal of the Nevadans for a Court of Appeals campaign was to gain voter approval on a statewide ballot question (Question 1) during the 2014 mid-term election to create a Court of Appeals. Nevada was the largest state in the country without one, and similar measures in the past had failed. In doing so, The Ferraro Group led the charge in developing a statewide voter education campaign with an emphasis on social and earned media.
Specifically, The Ferraro Group:
- Developed and directed a comprehensive, diverse statewide steering committee that served as “trusted voices” in helping further educate the general public;
- Led polling efforts and message development;
- Organized two campaign kickoffs (Reno and Las Vegas) which received significant media coverage;
- Created and executed a social media campaign for Twitter and Facebook;
- Oversaw the creative work for paid media (television spot, logo development, etc.)
- Led the earned media efforts to garner endorsements from large and small news publications;
- Coordinated speaking engagements about Question 1 on behalf of Supreme Court Justice Jim Hardesty and other spokespersons;
- Assisted in securing endorsements from individuals, businesses, and business/industry organizations from across the state.
Initial outreach efforts in garnering public support were focused on recruiting business and industry based organizations as they were most likely to understand the full, positive impact and economic implications a court of appeals would have on doing business in Nevada.
Securing support from rural chambers of commerce, development authorities, and local newspapers was critical in ensuring voters across the state fully understood the importance of the creation of a court of appeals. Historically, voters from rural parts of the state had not been supportive of past efforts to establish a court of appeals.
The key message used throughout the campaign was, “justice delayed is justice denied.” Appeals cases – small and large – were being delayed by the severe backlog at the State Supreme Court. Cases pertaining to child custody and drivers’ license revocations were tied up alongside major business related ones. The creation of a court of appeals would allow the Supreme Court to produce precedent-setting published opinions affecting all Nevadans, while the court of appeals would process cases for which there was already case law in a more timely fashion.
On Election Day, Question 1 passed with 53.77% of Nevadans voting in favor of the measure.