June 2, 2023
CARSON CITY, Nev. — Last night, Nevada Governor Joe Lombardo vetoed SB 404, a bill that would’ve protected voters from voter challenges that could ultimately silence them at the ballot box. In response to the veto, All Voting is Local Action Nevada State Director Kerry Durmick released the following statement:
“It is extremely concerning that Gov. Lombardo vetoed SB 404, a commonsense election administration bill that would’ve clarified voter challenge statutes in Nevada and protected voters from being barred from voting if they were wrongfully challenged while not having satisfactory ID on hand. Without the clarity that this bill would have provided when it comes to voter challenges, we become vulnerable to bad-faith actors who will continue to manipulate current policies to disenfranchise and intimidate voters.”
“For years, we’ve seen bad-faith actors in several states use voter challenges as a tool to intimate, harass, and silence lawful voters. SB 404 was 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.”
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 would have clarified which documents are considered as satisfactory ID.
SB 404 would have also made clear how a challenged voter could defend themselves against a challenge and allowed them to cast a provisional ballot if they aren’t able to provide satisfactory ID at the time of the challenge. This ultimately would have protected voters from being barred from voting if they are challenged when they do not have satisfactory ID on hand, and it also would have discouraged voter challenges from being used as an intimidation or silencing tactic.