Adopting a proposed “motor voter” law in Nevada to register eligible people to vote when they apply for a driver’s license or other state identification card could cost as much as $5 million, state analysts said in a long overdue report released Tuesday. But state officials called the report outdated and anticipate a much lower price tag for the program, which is projected to enroll at least 120,000 voters in the first year. Under a 2016 voter-initiated petition, Nevadans would be registered to vote through the Department of Motor Vehicles unless they opt out. The petition also calls for the voter rolls to be updated when people renew driver’s licenses or otherwise update their information with the DMV. In the report filed six months late, fiscal analysts at the Nevada Legislative Counsel Bureau said implementing the program, should it become law, would cost $5 million if the state decided to implement a new registration database to facilitate data transfers between state and local agencies.
That information was solicited last year, though, and DMV Director Terri Albertson told lawmakers at a Tuesday hearing on the proposal that no changes may be necessary given updates the DMV has made to its computer system and forms since then.
No matter what the computer system and paperwork cost the state, the report said implementing automatic registration would require counties to front roughly $90,000 combined to reprogram their own systems.