LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Nevada Republicans have officially filed legislation to try again to require identification when voting in person and provide additional steps when voting by mail.
Republican Assem. Gregory Hafen II, of Pahrump, introduced the legislation Monday. Republican Gov. Joe Lombardo said in his State of the State Address last month that he would support such a measure.
“Signature verification is a time-intensive and cumbersome process,” the governor said in his Jan. 23 speech. “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.”
Similar attempts to require voter identification in Nevada have failed in past legislative sessions, including the last, which ended in May 2021. With a Democratic-controlled state Senate and a Democratic-super majority in the Assembly, it is unlikely the proposal will move forward.
The bill introduced Monday would require a Nevada voter to show a form of proof of identity when voting, including a driver’s license or other federally acceptable identification documents. Voters who do not have driver’s licenses would be able to obtain an identification card from the Department of Motor Vehicles free of charge.
Voters who vote by mail would have to either put the last four digits of their Social Security Number or driver’s license number on their ballot, along with their signature, the bill proposes.
The bill was referred to the Committee on Legislative Operations and Elections. Thirty-five states have some form of voter identification law, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
While not part of the bill introduced Monday, Lombardo also proposed requiring all mail-in ballots to be received by the close of business on Election Day. Nevada law allows mail-in ballots to be accepted for four days after an election. The change in the law, passed and signed by former Democratic Gov. Steve Sisolak, was a compromise and changed from seven days.
Lombardo said should the legislature not work to make these changes, he would work to put the measures before a public vote.
Several people attempted to vote twice in last month’s midterm election in Nevada, but not enough to sway any race result, the 8 News Now Investigators first reported in December. State investigators have identified people who attempted to vote twice, whether purposely or on accident. Each case is treated seriously until investigators determine no criminal intent.
For instance, a person may vote early by mail and then attempt to vote via a provisional ballot on Election Day. Or, a person may mistakenly vote using another family member’s mail-in ballot, thinking it is theirs.
State and county security measures identified the attempted double votes, tossing their second attempts from the system. The votes are not counted.
Measures the Nevada Legislature put in place in 2021, alongside the mail-in voting law, scrubbed voter roles of non-eligible and deceased voters.
Voter fraud is a felony and a conviction carries a fine and jail time.
So far, one person has faced charges in connection with the 2020 election. No charges had been filed as of Monday in connection with the 2022 election. Audits and lawsuits filed in states, including Nevada, found no evidence of widespread voter fraud. While claiming fraud in the 2020 election, Nevada Republican leaders did not make the same claim for the 2022 primary nor last week’s 2022 general election, which followed the same procedures.
The Nevada Legislature begins its session on Feb. 6. The legislature meets once every two years for four months.