Ross Miller’s goal in his final legislative session as Nevada’s secretary of state is to give Nevada voters, “undeniably the best election system in the country,” he said. And in a state that sees itself at the bottom of key national rankings, Miller adds, “And what’s the matter with Nevada being first?” Miller, however, faces a steep challenge in getting his “Election Modernization” bill through the Legislature. Problems to passage include money, necessity and perhaps the most difficult issue — perception. People easily form a misunderstanding of Miller’s Senate Bill 63. It would replace Nevada’s paper voters rosters with electronic ones. One of the keys of the laptop-friendly system would be the use of driver’s license photos from the Department of Motor Vehicles — as well as the current system of personal signatures — to identify voters. When people hear the word, “photo,” they jump to wrong conclusions, said Miller, a Democrat. Some fear the law means a voter must carry a government photo identification to vote. It doesn’t.
Others claim it is a way to suppress the vote of minorities. It doesn’t, notes the NAACP, which still has other concerns with the bill.
“We’ve had a difficult time explaining the mechanics of the bill to the public,” Miller. “And frankly, there are some citizens out there that just don’t want to listen to the facts.”
Miller sees the proposal as bringing Nevada’s voting system into the 21st century.
Miller is termed out of office at the end of 2014. Like other secretaries of state before him, he wants to leave office with the best elections system possible, a noted political science professor said.