Secretary of State Ross Miller on Friday faced tough questions at a public hearing about his proposal to use photos to verify voters’ identities, with opponents worried the system could be costly or allow ineligible voters and non-citizens to cast ballots. In response, Miller said an electronic poll book using photos of registered voters instead of signatures would allow immediate ID checks with government databases, ensuring no fraud. He argued it would be more reliable and bring the election system into the Internet age of online records. “It would actually be more secure,” Miller said at a two-hour forum at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
Because Miller introduced his idea for an electronic poll book using ID and driver’s license photos from the Department of Motor Vehicles, he has faced skepticism from the political right and left.
Friday’s forum, attended by more than 80 people, was meant to explain his proposal. He will introduce it as Senate Bill 63 at the legislative session opening Feb. 4.
Some members of Miller’s own Democratic Party initially worried a photo ID system could disenfranchise voters who don’t have driver’s licenses or other official identification. But under Miller’s plan, Nevada registered voters without photos on file could show up at the polls and vote, getting their pictures taken at the same time and signing an affidavit verifying they’re eligible to vote.