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Will Automatic Voter Registration Come To Nevada?

Brent Holmes

Should Nevadans be automatically registered to vote when they get their drivers' licenses?

That's a question before the state Legislature this session.

Right now, people can already register to vote while at the DMV, but proposals would make this process opt-out instead of opt-in.

In other words, Nevadans would get their voter registrations at the same time as their licenses automatically.

Clark County Registrar of Voters Joe Gloria testified before the Assembly's Legislative Operations committee about the proposals this week.

Question: Will everyone who gets a Nevada driver's license be automatically registered to vote? What about those people who are already licensed but not registered to vote?

Gloria: These people who come into the DMV -- according to the petition language -- once they come in for a transaction or to do business at DMV they will be automatically registered to vote unless they opt out and decide not to register to vote.

Question: There won't be any type of fee for opting out or anything like that? And will it actually cost more since people will be registering to vote at the same time they're renewing licenses and things like that?

Gloria: There's no fee attached to them registering them to vote. In fact, they currently have the ability at DMV to register to vote, but they have to opt to do it. In this case, it will be automatic. They'll have to opt out if they decide they don't want to register.

Question: How much would this system cost to implement? Are there systems in place to make sure voter registrations and DMV records are the same? If not, how much would that cost?

Gloria: We'll do a data match in our system when anything comes over. There will be duplicates that will come over, but we'll match those records and make sure the records are clean. 

The main thing to keep in mind here is there's a one-on-one transaction between the voter and the DMV, so we're confident that the information that's transferred over is going to be much more accurate than the work that we receive in the field. 

Question: You've mentioned before that there's no voter fraud committed in Clark County. How did you and your agency go about figuring that out?

Gloria: Just to correct what I said. I said there were no reported voter fraud issues that came to our office. We take voter fraud very seriously in my office and so does the rest of the state. 

If anybody comes to us with a viable claim and with proof of any type of voter fraud, we would go after those individuals very aggressively. However, we don't have any evidence in our system. And nobody has brought any information to us as far as voter fraud.

Now, there are some investigations that are on going and that I can't really comment on related to voter registration, but I have to emphasize that there is a large group that includes federal, state and Clark County local officials who are involved with going after individuals who break the law related to voting and voter registration.

Question: I want to go back to automatic voter registration. Some opposition says that if voters are automatically registered to vote at the DMV that it could tip scales in favor of the party that's in control of the state. Have you heard that opposing argument and what do you have to say about that?

Gloria: I have not and I would have to say I don't agree with that argument. It's just giving people the opportunity to be registered and should they choose to exercise their right to vote there will be nothing holding them back and exercising their right. 

Joe Gloria, Clark County Registrar of Voters

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