A Nevada state Senate committee has introduced legislation that would eliminate early voting on Sundays and restrict counties’ abilities to set their own voting hours, in the latest move to reshape how elections are held in the state. Senate Bill 433 was introduced on Monday by the Nevada Senate Committee on Legislative Operations and Elections. Under the terms of the bill, voting on Sundays during the early voting period ahead of next year’s elections would no longer be allowed, and counties would no longer be able to keep their polls open beyond 7 p.m. Previously, polling sites in areas like Clark County, which contains Las Vegas, had kept polls open until 9 p.m. State Sen. Patricia Farley (R), who chairs the committee that introduced the early voting legislation, and state Sen. James Settelmeyer (R), the committee’s vice chair, did not respond to a request for comment from The Huffington Post about why they introduced the bill.
Republican lawmakers in Nevada this week took the first step toward solidifying their hold on a state that looks increasingly up for grabs — if those members are willing to detonate the political equivalent of a nuclear bomb in Carson City. Buried deep within the yearly package of rules that will govern how the state Assembly and Senate will operate, Republicans inserted a provision that would allow them to consider redrawing Nevada’s political boundaries. The new rules, which ordinarily govern mundane legislative procedures, such as parliamentary rules and disclosure reports, passed both chambers on party-line votes. But the threat of redrawn lines that could solidify Republican control may be less about actually implementing new maps and more about forcing Democrats to come to the negotiating table on other issues.
The last couple of times Barbara Cegavske backed bills in the Nevada Legislature to require voters to show photo identification to cast ballots, the proposed legislation didn’t make it out of committee. Democrats blocked voter ID legislation in 2007 and in 2009, when Cegavske supported such bills, and beyond. Even when Republicans ran the state Senate in the past, the idea was rejected because of the potential cost of providing photo IDs to people who might not already have a driver’s license or some other form of identification. With Cegavske’s 2014 election as Nevada’s secretary of state and with Republicans in the majority in both houses of the Legislature for the first time in decades, Cegavske said she’s optimistic she finally will see a voter ID requirement become law. The Republican mentioned voter ID on the day of her swearing-in, making it a top priority. “Cegavske is a proponent of showing identification at polling places and will continue efforts to maintain the integrity of Nevada’s elections,” her office said Jan. 5 as she became Nevada’s 17th top election official. GOP Gov. Brian Sandoval also has expressed support for voter ID, making it likely he would sign a bill into law.
Yet another Republican-controlled state is looking to impose a voter ID law just in time for the 2016 elections. GOP state lawmakers in Nevada are readying ID bills for early next year, Secretary of State-Elect Barbara Cegavske told msnbc in an interview. Cegavske said she knew of two separate bills that might end up being merged together. “They’re writing them now,” said Cegavske, a Republican and a supporter of voter ID. “It just depends on how soon they get them in.” Last week, Republicans took full control of state government for the first time since 1929, meaning a voter ID bill would likely have a strong chance of passing. Governor Brian Sandoval has said in the past he supports voter ID. The GOP takeover also has raised fears of a broader rightward shift for the state, on everything from immigration to Stand Your Ground laws.
Nevada: Republican Assemblyman criticized for remarks about minority, young voters | Las Vegas Review-Journal
Assembly Minority Leader Pat Hickey, R-Reno, has come under fire this week, including from Sen. Dean Heller, for making comments that may have been factually correct but are unwise in today’s political world. During a Tuesday appearance on a Reno radio talk show, Hickey said Republicans in Nevada may pick up seats in next year’s election because many minorities and young people don’t vote in non-presidential elections. “Probably where we had a million voters turn out in 2012, we’ll have like 700,000,” Hickey told radio station KOH. “A lot of minorities and a lot of younger people will not turn out in a non-presidential (year). It’s a great year for Republicans.” Democrats have a 97,000 voter registration advantage over Republicans and control the state Senate, 11-10, and Assembly, 27-15. Heller, R-Nev., in a statement Thursday called the assemblyman’s comments “divisive, insensitive, and run counter to the basic duties and honor of public service. Assemblyman Hickey should know that it is a privilege to represent Nevada’s many cultures and ethnicities.”
Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval has said no to extending voter registration deadlines in Nevada. The Republican governor late Friday vetoed AB440, along with three other bills. The measure would have extended Nevada’s voter registration deadlines to the Friday before a primary or general election through early voting. If someone registered in person during the early voting period, they would have been allowed to vote. Under current law the deadline comes three weeks before an election.