Panel Discusses Voter ID Laws in Nevada - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe News Weather, Video -

Panel Discusses Voter ID Laws in Nevada

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Jennifer Burton
Channel 2 News

As we draw nearer to the general election in November, the controversial subject of voter ID laws is heating up.

Right now Nevada voters do not always have to show identification. When you go to vote, a poll worker will ask you to provide your address or date of birth, and you sign the voter roll. If the signature matches, you're allowed to vote. If it does not match, the poll worker is supposed to ask for identification. 

But seven states have passed photo ID laws within the past year. That has some in Nevada taking notice, and wondering if we should do the same.

Tuesday night the Northern Nevada League of Women Voters hosted a panel discussion to talk about voter ID laws and the process in Nevada. Washoe County Registrar of Voters, Dan Burk says there are two sides to the issue. 

"Is there enough security in the system that we have right now or is it a system that has integrity if we're not asking everyone for ID. The other side is access," Burk said. 

Chris Wicker, former Chair of the Washoe County Democratic Party says voter ID laws are not necessary. 

"The voter ID push is not about voter fraud," says Wicker. "Voter ID laws are a solution without a problem."

But Republican Jim Moneyhun disagrees.

"Anybody that believes that there's no election fraud is terribly naive, that's the bottom line,"  says Moneyhun.

The League of Women Voters believes strict voter ID laws will keep eligible voters from coming to the polls. 

"Some examples are senior citizens, who don't drive anymore and young people who don't have a driver's license," says Nancy Scott, Chair of the Northern Nevada Chapter.

Others believe the laws keep poor people and minorities from voting too. But do they prevent voter fraud? Registrar Dan Burk says Nevada's laws are keeping voters honest.

"We've seen some things on petitions. A few years ago we had a marijuana petition and we saw a lot of people entering addresses that were illegal or not valid," says Burk. "But cheating to be able to sneak in and vote at the polls, we've never seen anything like that. That's not something we've seen in Washoe County."

One woman who attended the panel discussion, wants to let the voters decide. 

"I think the citizens of the state of Nevada should have the opportunity to vote on if they want voter ID or not because other states are now passing laws," she added.

Right now there doesn't seem to be a big push to change Nevada law, but that could change. The point of the meeting Tuesday was to educate voters about the laws that exist and make sure they're informed -- if and when the subject comes up for a serious debate.

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