The head of the Clark County Election Department on Monday supported Secretary of State Ross Miller’s proposal to use photos to verify voters’ identities at the polls, arguing a new system could make it easier for election workers and cut down on intimidation. Registrar of Voters Larry Lomax said political campaigns and parties now send poll watchers to ensure election clerks properly check every voter signature on paper, creating a tense atmosphere. At the same time, voters often object when asked to show ID when their signatures don’t appear to match the registration book, he added. Nevada law doesn’t require showing ID before voting, but it can be requested to verify identity.
“As people start putting more emphasis on this, I can see the clerks are getting more and more uncomfortable with the process,” Lomax said in an interview. “The advantage of a picture is it doesn’t require any ID. If money were not an issue, I think it would be a good idea.”
Miller said last week that he plans to propose a new law to replace what he called an antiquated paper signature system with an electronic roster that included photographs of each registered voter. He said it would prevent ineligible voters from impersonating someone at polling places, although he said it hasn’t been a problem.
The law would allow election officials to import photos of eligible voters from the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles database of drivers’ licenses and state identification cards into an electronic poll book. The election and DMV systems already have been linked, allowing online voter registration in every Nevada county.