Secretary of State Ross Miller said Tuesday the cost of his proposal to include photos of voters in election poll books used at polling places to prevent fraud is $787,200, far less than originally estimated. The original estimate was between $5 million and $10 million, but that was based only on a similar proposal discussed in Minnesota. “Less than $800,000 is a small price to pay to enhance and modernize our existing system,” Miller said. “When we have the opportunity to increase access to our polling locations and further strengthen the security of our system, without disenfranchising any voters, we should do so. With 1.3 million active registered voters in Nevada, upgrading the system would only cost 60 cents per voter.”
The lower cost might make the proposal more appealing to lawmakers because of tight fiscal constraints, but there are still concerns about the policy implications.
Assemblyman James Ohrenschall, D-Las Vegas, chairman of the lower house’s Legislative Operations and Elections Committee, said his panel will focus on policy questions, such as whether the proposal might keep people from registering or voting.
“It seems like a common sense idea, but we need our concerns assuaged,” he said.
Miller has contrasted his proposal with so-called “Voter ID” measures that might also come up for debate in the 2013 legislative session that begins Monday. It would be an upgrade to the current antiquated paper roster system by implementing electronic voter rosters with the enhanced feature of a photograph of each registered voter.