Reality – Stronger Voter ID legislation will not happen

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Reality – Stronger Voter ID legislation will not happen

Support of stronger identification requirements in order to vote has long been one of the most vocal issues of the Republican Party. With Democrats controlling at least one legislative house, if not both, for many years, the issue has been dead in Nevada. With a now strong Republican majority in both legislative houses and the Governor’s office, it appears the issue is still dead.

There are three Republican sponsored bills – SB169, AB253, AB266. To this point, AB253 and AB266 are sitting in the Assembly Ways & Means Committee. Of the 15 members on the Ways & Means Committee, there are nine Republicans and six Democrats. Of the nine Republicans, six have signed onto one or more of the Voter ID bills; however, three of the Republican members have not signed onto any voter ID bill, including the Ways & Means Chair. The Chair has control over what bills will be heard and which will remain “in the drawer”.

In regards to SB169, which is sitting in the Senate Finance Committee, there is a similar situation. This bill was introduced by Senators Settelmeyer, Goicoechea and Gustavson (and signed onto by six Assemblymen); however, of the four Republicans on the Finance Committee, three have not signed onto any voter ID bill – including the Chair & Vice-Chair.

These bills will never be voted out of their current committees, if they are even actually heard. If such a miracle did happen, there remains the reality of not having the votes in either the Senate or Assembly to pass it on to the Governor’s desk.

There is not a Democrat who will vote for such a bill and it appears there are five Republican Assemblymen and eight Republican Senators who will not support it either. If the votes were there, there would have been a voter ID bill on the Governor’s desk long ago. And – if a voter ID bill actually did make it to the Governor’s desk, would he sign it?

I can find no logical reason (political motivation is not a logical or ethical reason) to oppose requiring stronger proof of identity than signing the voter log on voting day.

Stronger voter ID laws have been passed and challenged in several states. (31 states have some form of a voter ID law in effect)  Without going into great detail, they vary in strength in regards to requiring all or some of the following:  Photo ID, proof of citizenship, voter registration requirements, signature requirements, absentee and early voting restrictions.

Opponents cite such bills as discriminatory to the elderly, poor and minorities and too expensive to implement.

I simply do not agree and ask, “Where is your proof of such assertions?”

A public statement by Wall Street Journal columnist Jason Riley that “Black voter turnout in 2012 exceeded the rate of white voter turnout, even in the states with the strictest voter ID laws” has been verified as true.  According to a July 17, 2014 investigative article by Linda Qiu,      “Riley obtained his statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau.  The federal data agency indicated in a 2013 report that the black voting rate (66.2 percent) indeed surpassed the white voting rate (64.1 percent) by 2.1 percentage points in the 2012 elections.”

Here are some numbers from the 2012 elections, showing black voter rates as high or higher than white voter rates:

  • Missouri: Black voter turnout higher by more than 6-percent
  • Tennessee: Black voter turnout higher by more than 6-percent.
  • Georgia: Black voter turnout higher by 0 to 5.9-percent
  • Indiana: Black voter turnout higher by 0-5.9-percent
  • Virginia: Black voter turnout higher by 0 to 5.9-percent

The implementation of stronger voter ID laws is relatively new and many states have had them legally challenged.  A few have been struck down by their state courts, others, when challenged, amended their laws to comply with state court orders.

In regards to implementation of stronger voter ID laws, opponents have cited costs of millions; however,  in recent testimony before the Operations & Elections committee, DMV representatives estimated the initial cost to be around $300,000 and about $6,000 every two years after that.  They projected that about 5-percent of registered voters don’t have a form of identification.

If we could take the union influence out of the picture, with even handed debate and consideration of compromises to the proposals, stronger ID requirements could easily be achieved – without costing voters a cent, or discrimination against any demographic group; however, in the reality of this year’s Republican controlled legislature, it is not likely to happen.

Not with what the Republican opponents to stronger voter ID guidelines fear the consequences could be in 2016 if they betray their benefactors!!

Think about it.

Nancy Dallas, Editor/Publisher

NewsDesk (Est. Jan. 2003)



One comment on “Reality – Stronger Voter ID legislation will not happen
  1. Nancy, there seems to be little evidence that voter fraud is a real problem anywhere in the US, including Nevada. I’m opposed to laws that don’t address real problems; in this case, putting another step in the voting process, making it more difficult/inconvenient for citizens to vote.

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