May 30, 2023
CARSON CITY, Nev. — Today, the Nevada Legislature passed SB 404, a bill that will protect voters from voter challenges that could ultimately silence them at the ballot box. In response to the bill’s passage, All Voting is Local Action Nevada State Director Kerry Durmick, released the following statement:
“We are pleased to see the passage of SB 404, as it is a bill that truly protects Nevada voters. Due to this bill, we should see less voter challenges and confusion around them because it clarifies which government-issued document or ID may be used and prevents voters from being barred from voting if they are challenged for not having the satisfactory identification on hand.”
“In 2020 and 2022, we saw bad-faith actors in several states use voter challenges as a tool to intimidate, harass, and silence voters. This bill discourages voter challenges, because it provides voters without satisfactory ID at the time of the challenge with the option to cast a provisional ballot. This will ensure that their information is verified by election officials while their voice is still heard. Bills like SB 404 are necessary to protect Nevadans and their right to vote, especially after all the harassment voters and election workers have faced in recent years and as we come upon the 2024 election season. We urge Governor Joe Lombardo to sign SB 404 into law.”
Current law states that if a voter is challenged based on their address, the voter may only cast an in-person ballot if they sign an oath stating that they reside at the address provided and can produce “satisfactory identification” that proves that is true. However, the law does not define what satisfactory identification is for one to prove residency beyond stating that a voter registration card does not count. This has often caused confusion for challenged voters and election officials and workers who have to adjudicate these challenges. SB 404 lists which documents are considered as satisfactory ID.
SB 404 also clarifies how a challenged voter can defend themselves and allows them to cast a provisional ballot if they cannot provide satisfactory ID at the time of the challenge. This ultimately protects voters from being barred from voting if they are challenged when they do not have satisfactory ID on hand, and it also discourages voter challenges from being used as an intimidation or silencing tactic. Additionally, a provisional ballot will still ensure a challenged voter’s information will still be verified by elections officials.