52.5 F

Nevada ‘voting reform’ initiatives gather signatures


By Suzanne Potter
This story was originally published by Public News Service.

Backers of multiple efforts to change the way Nevadans cast their ballots are gathering signatures right now, with the goal of getting them onto the November ballot.

A group known as “Repair the Vote,” led by a former Republican congressional candidate, David Gibbs, wants to require voters to show ID at the polls.

Mathilda Guerrero, democracy manager for Silver State Voices, said her group’s view is voter ID laws are a powerful form of voter suppression aimed at low-income communities of color, which have a greater proportion of people who lack official forms of identification.

“According to the ACLU, about 11%, or about 21 million Americans, do not have an ID,” Guerrero reported. “Millions of Americans would be prevented from having their voices heard because of a voter ID law.”

Supporters of voter ID call it a common-sense election security measure. The Repair the Vote group is also working on a referendum to repeal last year’s Assembly Bill 321, which instructed counties to send prepaid mail-in ballots to all voters, and allowed voters to designate someone else to turn in their ballot. Critics of the bill cited concerns about the potential for voter fraud.

Guerrero pointed out mail-in ballots increase participation by making it more convenient to vote.

“If repealed, these measures would inherently create barriers for voters to truly be able to cast their ballot easily and safely,” Guerrero contended.

A third proposal, from the group “Nevada Voters First,” would allow voters from all parties to participate in an open primary for federal races, in which the top five vote-getters would advance to the General Election. Known as “ranked-choice” voting, it would allow voters to rank candidates in order of preference.

This Is Reno is your source for award-winning independent, online Reno news and events since 2009. We are locally owned and operated.