SB169 Explainer


Headline: “Should citizens be required to present proper identification to vote?”

In Favor: Helps prevent voter fraud, as there has been a history of it in the United States.  They [Voter ID laws] apply to every American citizen and is only a mere inconvenience as voters still have to identify themselves upon voting.

Opposed: Voter ID laws are a scam to help curb votes in conservative favor. No one has been accused of voter fraud in either the Obama or Bush administrations have been convicted of voter fraud despite such legislation being passed, so why is this type of legislation necessary?

What is it?:
What does the bill do?
The bill requires a voter to present a valid form of identification at the voting booth. IDs such as a driver’s license or passport are acceptable; student IDs are not. Voter ID cards are made for those who do not have a driver’s license or U.S. passport, or anything else considered to be “proof of identity.”

Existing legislation?
Voter ID laws have been around since the 1950s, starting in South Carolina.  However, back then, a photo on the ID wasn’t required. Since then, voter ID laws have picked up momentum in political debates, especially as it relates to defining “proof of identity”

How will change existing legislation?
This bill mandates the voter must have a photo ID, whereas this has never been necessary in prior Nevada elections.

Current Nevada law does not require you to present ID at the voting booth UNLESS:

-It’s your first time voting in a federal election in Nevada;

-You registered to vote by mail;

– You didn’t provide an ID when you registered to vote OR received a letter from a county clerk saying there were problems with your registration.

This may cause fallout in voter turnout in groups such as young adults and minorities who are less likely to have the financial means or access to transportation to get an ID.

In the fiscal notes provided by the Department of Motor Vehicles, they must work with a vendor to produce these voter ID cards at a one-time cost of $47,000. The DMV would pay $3.25 per card for printing. All costs connected with voter registration are paid with General Fund appropriations.

SB169 states that a valid ID has to contain a recognizable photo and shows the person’s name and signature. Under this law, a document issued by an administrator of a licensed medical facility is also considered a valid form of ID.

The DMV can issue ID cards, free of charge, if the person is registered to vote in their state and does not already posses “proof of identity”. In order to get an ID in Nevada, a person must fill an application issued by the Sec. of State, have their birth certificate and a copy of some government entity that shows the applicants name and address (i.e. checks, utility bill).

When issued, a voter ID card must contain the following: the name, address, birthday, sex, height, weight, eye color, photo and signature of the person; the date the card was issued; name of county where card was printed. The card is only good for as long as the person is registered to vote. A valid ID, other than a voter ID card, would be either a driver’s license or U.S. passport.

Of Note
This bill is sponsored only by Republican members of the legislature. No meetings or hearings have been scheduled for this bill.

Both the Las Vegas Review-Journal and TheReno Gazette-Journal have covered the issue.

Voter Identification Laws

Date Introduced: February 17, 2015
Legislative Activity: None; no scheduled meetings as of March 24, 2015.

Official ID: Senate Bill No. 169
Official Title: N/A

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *