Three bills that threaten OUR rights to vote were introduced this month at the Nevada Legislature. They are unwarranted legislation in search of a problem that doesn’t exist. We cannot let them become law!
SB 169, AB 253, and AB 266 require voters to show a limited number of acceptable forms of ID. These types of Voter ID laws impact vulnerable populations who are left struggling to obtain identification that will allow them to exercise their constitutional right to vote.
Introductions of AB 253 and AB 266 were held on Tuesday, March 17, in Assembly Committee on Legislative Operations and Elections at 4 p.m. Contact your Assembly member now and let them know that you oppose any Voter ID bills that will make it difficult for Nevada’s citizens to vote.
There is a false notion that every Nevadan has an ID and if they don’t, they can easily walk over to the DMV and get one. The “Let Nevadans Vote” coalition has been conducting surveys with vulnerable populations such as the elderly and homeless families and through that process, they’ve learned just how difficult it is to obtain an ID. Here are a few of their stories with names removed to protect their privacy:
One Reno woman moved here from another state and lacks a Nevada ID. Her supporting documents were lost to theft and she’s had difficulty just getting a copy of her birth certificate, saying it was “hard as heck” and she has to “jump through hoops.” She’s indigent and reports having both physical and mental disabilities, and relies on public transportation to get around.
A 2014 voter registered as a nonpartisan is currently jobless, homeless, and relies on public transit that he can barely afford. His birth certificate and social security card were stolen, a common occurrence when experiencing homelessness. The only ID he has is a Clarity Card issued by Catholic Charities, which doesn’t meet the requirements of this bill.
Another voter lives in a rural county, 90 miles away from the only DMV office in her county. Everybody in her local community knows her upon sight, but she doesn’t have the requisite ID prescribed by the legislation being proposed to allow her to vote. She doesn’t drive. She doesn’t own a car. She doesn’t have a valid driver’s license (why would she?). Now add to that, that there is no available public transportation she could utilize to make the hour and a half trip to the DMV to get the ID, nor to make the hour and a half trip back to her home.
Yet another man lives in a rural county in a group facility for those with disabilities. He’s a Vietnam War veteran and Agent Orange snuck up him some time ago. He’s been voting by mail-in ballot for some time now. Like the lady in the last example, it’s 90 miles to the nearest DMV facility. He no longer drives and he also doesn’t have a car or a valid Driver’s license. There’s no public transportation, and even if there was, just the 3-hour round trip would be exceptionally stressful given his current health conditions. To be able to vote in future elections, he would not only need to make the trip to the DMV but to the Registrar of Voters office as well to present his ID for the record.
In each of these cases, an undue burden is placed on each person who should clearly be qualified to vote. Please contact your Assembly member and make it clear that, as their constituent, you oppose passage of Voter ID bills SB 169, AB 253, and AB266. You can also use the “Opinions” app at the 2015 NV Legislative Session page to read the bills and comments from others as well as to leave your comments about each bill: https://www.leg.state.nv.us/App/Opinions/78th2015/A/