LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Nevada Republicans have officially introduced legislation to try again to require identification when voting in person and to provide additional steps for absentee ballots.
Republican Assembly. Gregory Hafen II of Pahrump introduced the legislation on Monday. Republican Gov. Joe Lombardo said in his State of the State Address last month that he would support such a measure.
“Verifying the signature is a time-consuming and cumbersome process,” the governor said in his Jan. 23 speech. “We require people to have valid ID to get on an airplane, drive a motor vehicle or buy alcohol or cigarettes, but not to vote in an election. That is illogical.”
Similar attempts to require Nevada voter identification have failed in previous legislative sessions, including the most recent one that ended in May 2021. With a Democrat-controlled Senate and a Democratic supermajority in the assembly, the proposal is unlikely to go ahead.
The bill, introduced Monday, would require a Nevada voter to provide proof of identity when voting, including a driver’s license or other federally acceptable identification documents. Voters without a driver’s license can obtain an ID card from the Road Traffic Office free of charge.
Voters voting by absentee ballot would be required to put either 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 Legislative Procedures and Elections Committee. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 35 states have some form of voter identification law.
While Lombardo was not part of the bill introduced Monday, he also proposed that all mail-in ballots must be received by close of business on Election Day. Nevada law allows mail-in ballots to be accepted for four days after an election. The legislative change, passed and signed into law by former Democratic Gov. Steve Sisolak, was a compromise and was changed by seven days.
Lombardo said that should lawmakers not work to make those changes, they would work to put the measures to a public vote.
Several people tried to vote twice in last month’s Nevada midterm elections, but not enough to affect the outcome of a race, 8 News Now Investigators first reported in December. State investigators have identified individuals who attempted to vote twice, either intentionally or by mistake. Each case is taken seriously until investigators discover no criminal intent.
For example, a person may vote early by absentee ballot and then attempt to vote on a provisional ballot on Election Day. Or, a person may mistakenly vote using another family member’s mail-in ballot, believing it belongs to them.
State and regional security officials identified the attempted duplicate votes and ejected their second attempts from the system. The votes are not counted.
Measures introduced by the Nevada legislature in 2021, as well as the ballot-by-mail law, have cleaned up the voting rolls of ineligible and deceased voters.
Voter fraud is a crime and a conviction carries a fine and imprisonment.
So far, one person has been charged 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 Nevada Republican leaders alleged fraud in the 2020 election, they did not make the same allegation for the 2022 primary or last week’s 2022 general election, which followed the same procedures.
The Nevada Legislature begins its session on February 6th. The legislature meets every two years for four months.