An Assembly committee is hearing arguments for and against two bills that would require Nevada voters to have identification when they head to the polls.

The bill's sponsors say proving your identity at the polls will prevent voter fraud while others say it will prevent some people from voting.


We're talking about Assembly Bills 253 and 266 which are essentially the same bill.

The IDs have to be issued by the state, the U.S., or a federally recognized Indian tribe. It also has to have your photo, name and signature on it like a driver's license.


The problem some people have with these bills is not everyone has proper ID.


Last November's midterm election had one of the worst voter turnouts in history.

And some fear that requiring voter IDs will only make matters worse - keeping people away from the polls.

"It's requiring you to have this additional form that a lot of people don't have. Studies show that 11% of Americans do not have the type of ID that is required by this bill,” says Vanessa Spinazola, ACLU of Nevada.

Republican Assemblywoman Jill Dickman adds, "The first election after the Indiana law was instituted; there was actually greater voter turnout. So I don't believe that will have an impact."


Assemblywoman Jill Dickman is the sponsor of AB266. She says most people already have the appropriate ID with a driver's license. People that don't could get a voter ID card at no cost to the individual. "How do you survive in this society, today, without ID. We need ID to register our cars. We need ID to return something at Best Buy."


Critics say this bill would have the biggest impact on communities of color and of lower income who may not have ID.

"It would be a substantial effort for them to try to obtain this type of ID which might cause them to give up on actually voting,” says Spinazola.

One area where the two sides disagree is whether voter fraud is prevalent enough to require voter ID.

"As long as Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck and dead people are voting, we have a problem,” says Assemblywoman Dickman.

Spinazola adds, "The type of voter fraud that a voter ID law is supposed to eliminate is in-person voter fraud and that is extremely rare. We almost never see anything like that."


The Department of Motor Vehicles says issuing voter ID cards would cost the state $3.25 each. That adds up to nearly $300,000 over the next fiscal year when you add in start-up costs. The following year would drop to about $3,300.

"It's very important to the integrity of our elections and if it does come with somewhat of a cost, I think we need to bare that cost,” says Assemblywoman Dickman.

In Nevada, you do need to show some form of ID when you register to vote but that doesn't require a picture and a signature. You could use something like a birth certificate.


Along with these two bills, the senate has written a similar bill.