Photo Courtesy: Nevada News Service

Some Civil Rights Groups Praise Voting Rights Bill Passed By Nevada Senate

Bill Would Allow Election Officials To Establish Universal Polling Locations

June 05, 2019 - 1:23 pm

CARSON CITY, NV (KXNT) - A big voting rights package has passed the state Senate and now goes to the state Assembly for a concurrence vote and then to the governor's desk.

Civil rights groups are cheering for a big voting rights package that passed the state Senate late Monday and now goes to Governor Steve Sisolak's desk, pending a quick concurrence vote in the state Assembly. A-B 345 would establish same-day voter registration, meaning people could register on election day. Wesley Juhl with the A-C-L-U of Nevada said this was a major priority for progressive groups, once Democrats took over both houses and the governorship in 2018.

"It was a no go under previous legislatures, previous administrations, so we're just really excited to get same-day registration here in Nevada," said Juhl.

The bill would also allow election officials to establish certain "universal" polling locations, where anyone in the country or city can vote, even if it isn't their assigned polling place. It also would allow voters to register online, even on Election Day and during the early vote period. Opponents of the bill say it could result in voter fraud.

However, Juhl said that fear is overblown and points to the plethora of other states that have taken these same steps to make voting easier.

"People say that there's going to be all sorts of fraud if we expand the franchise to include everyone, and that hasn't proven true anywhere else. So many other states have had same-day registration for a long time," said Juhl.

The bill also would allow people to permanently request an absentee ballot, rather than having to request a new one every election. This would be especially helpful for people who are elderly, disabled or who are deployed overseas. The bill was sponsored by the speaker of the Assembly, Jason Frierson.