Secretary of State Ross Miller’s plan to digitize Nevada polling records and add voter photos to the database was met with mixed reaction Thursday from county registrars who applauded the modernization effort but were concerned it would still allow people to cast a ballot if photos and signatures didn’t match. Miller, in presenting SB63 to the Senate Committee on Legislative Operations and Elections, said the bill was “an opportunity for state, not the voter, to ensure that every eligible voter is able to exercise their right.” He added no voter be required to “produce a piece of plastic” before casting a ballot. No action was taken by the committee. Passage appeared unlikely given the cool reception it received from Democrats and Republicans’ preference for voter identification cards.
Under the plan, photos from Department of Motor Vehicle records would be uploaded to the election system, giving poll workers the ability to visually verify a voter. Currently, signatures kept in paper-bound books are compared with signatures of voters who sign in before they are given ballots.
For people who don’t have a DMV-issued identification, poll workers would be on hand to take a voter’s photo.
Miller stressed that even those who lack a DMV identification card and refuse to have their photo taken would not be denied the right to vote “as long as they sign a written affirmation under penalty of perjury confirming that he or she is the registered voter they claim to be.”
That provision raised concerns from county election officials, including Carson City Clerk-Recorder Alan Glover and Clark County Voter Registrar Larry Lomax.
“Our concern is someone could come in and if their picture doesn’t match, they could sign an affidavit … and go in and vote,” Glover said.