Nevada Could Become 7th State to Approve Automatic Voter Registration

Mar 13, 2017

 

The Nevada Legislature Building in Carson City.
Credit Paul Boger

A voter initiative may soon change how Nevadans register to vote.

 


IP-1 would create a process in which Nevada residents will automatically be registered to vote or have their information updated whenever they go to the DMV.  If voters do not wish to participate in the process, they will have to opt-out.

 

The bill was passed along party lines 12 to 9 with Republicans with many voicing concerns that the initiative would make the voting process less secure by placing ineligible voters onto the rolls.

 

“As we sit here today, there are 21,676 drivers licenses and I.D. cards held by people in the state of Nevada who are not eligible to vote,” says Senator Ben Kieckhefer (R-Reno/Carson City). “This initiative will, when that person goes to renew their license or change their address, register that person to vote despite the fact that they are ineligible legally.”

 

But Democrats argue that automatic voter registration may improve voter integrity while at the same time increasing voter rolls.

 

“When you do sign up for your I.D. et cetera, you do have to submit certain documents to prove that you are you,” says Senator Kelvin Atkinson (D-Las Vegas) “Having to show your birth certificate or your social security card or whatever you have to show in the DMV, I think it legitimizes the process a little bit more  than what we have in place today.”

 

Since the Assembly has already passed the voter initiative, it will now be sent to the Governor’s office for his approval. If he chooses not the sign it into law, the measure will be put on the general election ballot in 2018.