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October 17, 2017

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Nevada Republicans introduce voter identification bill

Updated Tuesday, Feb. 17, 2015 | 4 p.m.

CARSON CITY — Nevada Republicans introduced a bill on Tuesday that would require voters to show identification at the ballot box.

Republican Sen. James Settelmeyer introduced SB169, which would require proof of identification in order to vote and provide for free voter identification cards.

The bill lists acceptable forms of identification, including driver's licenses and other government-issued identification cards, and requires the state Department of Motor Vehicles to provide free identification cards to voters who don't have another way of verifying their identity.

The bill would also allow voters without identification to cast a provisional ballot which would be counted after they show identification at a county or city clerk's office.

Settelmeyer said the measure comes at the request of constituents who are worried about identify theft and think the voting process should be more secure. He said the bill is modeled after an Indiana law that the Supreme Court upheld after determining it didn't present an unconstitutional burden to voting.

"We want to make sure that the people who are voting should be voting," he said.

The bill is sponsored by Settelmeyer and fellow Republican senators Pete Goicoechea and Don Gustavson, as well as Assemblywoman Michele Fiore. It will be reviewed by the Senate Finance Committee, but not until the Nevada DMV can accurately project how much a voter identification cards would cost.

Democratic Sen. Aaron Ford said the bill was unnecessary and would discourage citizens from participating in the electoral process.

"We think it's a humongous waste of taxpayer dollars for a problem that doesn't exist," the Las Vegas Democrat said.

Fiore, R-Las Vegas, said she's concerned about people who are in the country illegally using the voting system, and said she believes the voting process should be held to a higher standard.

"I think voting is more serious than buying a bottle of wine," she said. "So if I have to show ID to buy wine, I should show ID to vote."

Associated Press writer Michelle Rindels contributed to this report.

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