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April 21, 2015

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Miller’s voter identification proposal could ease way for same-day registration


isaac brekken / associated press file

New U.S. citizens Jenette Chavez, 18, and Josue Cano, 20, fill out voter registration forms in August at the Lloyd D. George federal courthouse in Las Vegas in 2008.

To The Point

Secretary of State Ross Miller discusses his planned push for voter ID legislation in the next session. And Assembly Minority Leader Pat Hickey talks about his relationship with his counterpart in the Senate and chances for tax reform both this session and if Gov. Sandoval is re-elected.

Democratic Secretary of State Ross Miller’s announcement this month that he would pursue a new voter identification approach sent Democrats sounding the voter suppression alarm bells, while Republicans applauded the news.

But the carrot Miller is trying to use to lure his liberal base back into the fold isn’t one that Republicans would relish chomping.

Miller hasn’t spoken much about it publicly, but privately he is working to assuage the concerns of liberal Democrats by touting the fact his idea for electronically linking driver’s license photos to the voting rolls could be a step toward same-day voter registration in Nevada.

Miller has proposed upgrading Nevada’s paper-based system for checking voters in at the polls with an electronic poll book, which would include driver’s license photos.

Linking the voting rolls with the driver’s license database would make it easier, and more secure, to register voters on Election Day, Miller said last week on the political talk show "To The Point."

“Once we get an electronic poll book, it obviously would create enough safeguards, it would be actually more secure to have somebody present themselves in person to register or confirm with the DMV their identity,” Miller said. “(We could) confirm they have a residential address through the online registration system and then obviously check and ensure their photo or at least take their photo before they are given access to the polling system.”

It’s one of the arguments Miller is using as he seeks to woo liberal activists who have been critical of his proposal.

Same-day voter registration has long been touted by many Democrats as a way to increase voter participation.

But many Republicans see it as a way to open the voting booth to fraud.

And that could be a poison pill for Miller’s idea, which had earned some early praise from Republican lawmakers who have been pushing for a voter ID law in Nevada.

“It hadn’t occurred to me that having a photo ID as one more of the tools to identify an eligible voter would necessarily be paving the way to same-day registration,” said Assembly Minority Leader Pat Hickey, R-Reno, one of the leading Republicans to voice support for Miller’s proposal. “I don’t get the link and, myself anyway, I don’t think I would necessarily be supportive.

“I think if he were to combine it with same-day registration, he would find more difficulty in obtaining Republican support (for the electronic poll book).”

Miller has not said he will pursue same-day registration as part of his voter identification legislation.

According to the Brennan Center for Justice, 27 states have used some form of electronic poll book. Four of those states also do same-day voter registration.

So far, according to Miller, no other state includes a driver’s license photo in its electronic poll book. Minnesota’s secretary of state tried and failed to pass such a measure earlier this year.

Miller’s argument hasn’t necessarily won over those critical liberal activists, who argue a voter identification system is not needed in a state that has not experienced voter fraud.

“I know what it’s going to do and where he got the idea and how it could dovetail into same-day voter registration,” liberal activist Laura Martin said of the conversation she had with Miller after she publicly criticized his idea. “It could also prevent future voter ID laws. But my thing is, why do a bill to prevent a bad voter ID law?”

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  1. Questions.....

    (1) What exactly is the problem with voting that we need to switch to this? The last election cycle went flawless. We did not experience voting problems as they did in Florida and Ohio. I don't see a problem like that existing in Nevada that needs to be addressed this forcefully and drastic.

    (2) I already have a voter ID card. That ain't enough? Where I vote at they have it down to a fine art they verify who I am, they check the card and signature to match the person, and it's quick and efficient. What's the problem that I have to switch to some stupid voter ID card because brain dead Tea/Republicans absolutely detest that I vote for Democratic Party causes?

    (3) If this does happen where I have to get a different voter ID card, why exactly is there some linkage that if someone votes....they also drive? I drive, so it's no problem, but I know a lot of people who don't drive. If they don't drive, they don't get a voter ID card. And if they have to go to the DMV to get just the voter ID card, why do they have to stand in line like all those people who want to attain a drivers' license? Is this some kind of assured liability that if drivers have to stand in line, then voters do to? Why punish people who are only guilty of trying to vote by making them stand in long lines at DMVs Statewide?

    This is all posturing for something. Something stupid. Because a process that is in place right now actually works, but we gotta change it because some numbskulls are harping about ACORN (which is no longer around and has no effect on anything regarding voting) or some kind of other manufactured crisis which is supposedly destroying the voting process in Nevada?

    Really stupid, Secretary of State. Do your job and tweak and improve the system that is already in place. Quit kowtowing to idiotic Tea/Republicans who think there's a Democrat intending to steal elections, or involved in some nefarious conspiracy to undermine America and our voting process. It's a known fact Tea/Republicans are not even a party anymore. They just complain, whine and protest. They damn sure don't know how to lead. And they damn sure can't solve their way out of a paper bag...even when shown where the opening is. Look at recent political history. The proof is in the pudding.

    I posed alot of my above comments as questions. Something I usually don't do when I comment on LV Sun articles. But I did it to make a point. And that is, I guarantee you answer the above questions I asked calmly and rationally, you'll see how dumb the entire idea is.

    It's a system that's not broke. No need to fix it. Leave it alone. Because if you do this stuff, you're just saying the stupid Tea/Republicans were right about voter fraud is rampant throughout Nevada. And it's simply not true. Besides that, changing to an unnecessary system does nothing but disenfranchise voters, preventing them from voting the next election cycle.

  2. I just read this in a Huffington Post article posted today....

    "Republican campaign consultant Scott Tranter appeared on a panel Monday hosted by the Pew Center on the States to discuss the long lines and voter ID controversies that plagued the 2012 election. In his comments, Tranter seemed to imply that he believed these issues were helpful to Republicans and should be pursued for that reason.

    'A lot of us are campaign officials -- or campaign professionals -- and we want to do everything we can to help our side. Sometimes we think that's voter ID, sometimes we think that's longer lines -- whatever it may be,' Tranter said with a laugh.

    Tranter owns Vlytics, a company that was paid more than $3,000 by former presidential candidate Mitt Romney's campaign for 'data consulting.'"

    In light of this revelation, I have one last question.

    Why are you playing Tea/Republican Party silly games with a manufactured crisis regarding Nevada voting, Secretary of State?

    And, more.


  3. So Pat Hickey thinks Voter ID is good because it prevents fraud - but then, when told that it will benefit Democrats - he says Voter ID same day registration will lead to Fraud.

    Bunch of bigoted anti-American fascist.

    It is all about voter suppression for Republicans. Self-serving bigotry and sore losers and cheaters!

  4. Collin,

    You are right. Ultimately, these efforts will be used to prevent voters from voting. Voter Suppression is the real problem not this imaginary voter fraud.

    The irony in all this - in this last election - not only was fraud detected in a few cases - but in those cases detected it was Republicans engaged in fraud.


    These efforts - although well intended by Secretary of State - will lead to voter suppression. Miller needs to understand that he is opening the door for bigoted Republicans to step in exploit this system in an effort to suppress the vote.

    Ross Miller - your efforts are novel but the end result of such a system will only lead to voter suppression in the hands of Republicans. They've demonstrated that they are interested in ONE thing - suppressing the vote. This last election proved that intent.

  5. noble*

  6. Ms. Damon - two points.... (1) what is the cost to the citizens of Nevada for the overhaul of a system that appears to be working and (2) have there been any documented cases of voter fraud at the polls. Secretary Miller has been asked both questions and has not given a direct answer on either. The second question is an EASY yes or no - not even how many - has there been one instance in the last, say, 10 years! The one effort we've heard of where someone tried to vote twice (again - not someone presenting themselves as someone different) was thwarted and arrested. Mr. Miller has done a great job - how does this help this system signficantly improve and what is the cost?

  7. Talk wanting to have your cake and eat it, too!

    I would think that getting same day registration is a far bigger win for the Democrats than photo ID validation is for the Republicans. Unless there is some sort of citizenship status on the photo system (remember, Miller's plan only links photos) then the Republican concerns are still present with the plan to issue state IDs to illegal immigrants.

    The Democrats posting here should back off Miller and look at this as a compromise that has them coming out ahead when viewed with other plans.