Major Battleground State Proposes Massive Election Reforms, Including Mandating Voter ID
State lawmakers have proposed requiring voter identification in Nevada’s elections in a bill Democrats say is dead on arrival.
Republican Gov. Joe Lombardo initially offered the proposals in January. Senate Bill 405 was submitted on Monday, according to KLAS-TV.
Nevada has emerged as a battleground in recent congressional and presidential elections, with neither party having a lock on the state.
“We require people to have a valid form of identification to get on a plane, to operate a motor vehicle or to purchase alcohol or cigarettes, but not to cast a vote in an election. That is illogical,” Lombardo said in his January State of the State speech.
Lombardo spokeswoman Elizabeth Ray said the proposals are “common sense” election reforms, according to the Las Vegas Sun.
“Measures proposed in SB405, including voter ID, are practical, realistic, and supported by the majority of Nevadans — across party lines. … SB405 will help restore faith and timeliness in our election system, so that every Nevadan has confidence that our voting process is free and fair,” Ray said.
When Lombardo first called for the reforms, Assembly Speaker Steve Yeager and Senate Majority Leader Nicole Cannizzaro — the leaders of the Democrat-controlled legislature — called any change to election policies a “non-starter,” according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
Nevada State Democratic Party Chairwoman Daniele Monroe-Moreno followed that up after the bill was introduced, KLAS reported.
“Not even halfway through the legislative session, Governor Lombardo is making his priorities clear: rolling back voting rights,” she said.
“Lombardo is more concerned with scoring political points by emboldening election deniers than giving Nevadans a voice at the ballot box,” Monroe-Moreno said, adding that the governor “prioritizes deadly conspiracy theories and MAGA extremists at the expense of Nevadans’ right to vote.”
Lombardo’s chief of staff, Ben Kieckhefer, said in January that voters side with the governor.
“If Democrats want to ignore three-quarters of voters and say that their opinions are not valuable, they’re free to do so. … We believe this is good public policy for the state,” he said, according to the Review-Journal.
The governor’s proposal gives voters several options for ID, including a card that the state would issue at no cost to a voter who does not have a driver’s license, according to KLAS.
The proposal would also end the universal mailing of ballots so that voters could get one if they wanted but would not automatically receive a ballot.
The bill calls for all mail-in ballots to be received by 5 p.m. on Election Day, instead of the current deadline of four days after the election.
In his State of the State speech, Lombardo said mass mailing of mail-in ballots was a pandemic-era expedient that needs to end.
“Nevada created universal mail-in ballots as a response to COVID. With the pandemic behind us, this expensive process is simply unnecessary,” he said.
“Anyone who wants or needs a mail-in ballot should have every right to request and receive one. However, sending ballots to more than 1.9 million registered voters is inefficient and unnecessary.”
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