Voters would be required to show photo identification before casting a ballot under a bill introduced Tuesday in the Nevada Senate. Under Senate Bill 169, sponsored by Sen. James Settelmeyer, R-Minden, and eight other Republican lawmakers, proof of identity would include a document or identity card issued by the state, federal government or recognized Indian tribe that contains a “recognizable photograph.” It also would require the Department of Motor Vehicles to issue a voter identification card free of charge to anyone who lacks other proof. Settelmeyer said requiring voter ID is “something my constituencies have been clamoring about for a long time.”
In the rural counties he represents, where everyone seems to know almost everyone else, Settelmeyer said his constituents “get upset” when a poll worker won’t look at their ID. “They want to show their ID,” he said. “The concept is to help strengthen the integrity of elections.”
Democrats and other groups oppose the bill as obstructionist and unnecessary. “We think it’s a discriminatory solution in search of a nonexistent problem,” said Tod Story, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Nevada.
To be valid, identification could not have an expiration date beyond four years before an election. The bill was referred to the Senate Finance Committee because of its undermined cost of providing voter identification cards to those who lack other acceptable forms for photo ID.