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NV Bill Proposes Stricter Identification Requirements to Vote

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Monday, February 20, 2023   

A Nevada lawmaker wants to require stricter identification to vote in the Silver State.

Asm. Greg Hafen, R-Pahrump, has introduced Assembly Bill 88, which would narrow the acceptable forms of ID in-person voters would need to show to cast a ballot. They include a driver's license or identification card issued by the Department of Motor Vehicles, or tribal voters, one issued through their federally-recognized tribe. Hafen has said the measure is about fighting election fraud and restoring election integrity.

Emily Persaud-Zamora, executive director of Silver State Voices, said she is confident current state laws already ensure elections are run safely, smoothly and are accessible to everyone.

"I think the bill is being introduced in an attempt to create a narrative on a problem that does not exist," Persaud-Zamora asserted. "Unfortunately, there are people who don't really believe in making voting as accessible as possible."

The bill would also require mail-in ballots to be returned with not only a signature, but the last four digits of a voter's Social Security number, as well as their driver's license or ID card number. Persaud-Zamora argued advocates of the bill likely are not considering the unintended consequences on voters, or election administrators.

Persaud-Zamora's group is convinced the bill would create additional steps, which could be especially challenging for people without a permanent address from unhoused individuals to college students, people just released from prison, and even snowbirds. Some have predicted it is unlikely to move forward with a Democratic majority in the Assembly, but Persaud-Zamora noted she cannot assume anything.

"Our hope is that -- we do believe there are a lot of voting rights champions in the Assembly and in the Senate -- and we hope that a bill like this would not get a vote," Persaud-Zamora stressed.

The bill would require the Department of Motor Vehicles to issue an ID card, free of charge, to a registered voter who does not have one of the acceptable forms of documentation and is experiencing financial hardship.

Disclosure: Silver State Voices contributes to our fund for reporting on Budget Policy & Priorities, Civic Engagement, Health Issues, and Human Rights/Racial Justice. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


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