I heartily endorse Secretary of State Ross Miller's proposal to require Nevadans to show photo ID when registering to vote. You might ask who could object to such a reasonable requirement. So-called "progressive activists," that's who.
Miller, a Democrat who's eyeing the governorship that his father Bob held for 10 years, defended his proposal in a recent newspaper debate.
"In the wake of a historically contentious and divisive election, voters should have the utmost confidence that their electoral system is sound and secure," our secretary of state wrote. "I recently announced a proposal to upgrade our antiquated poll book system with electronic poll books that would also include voter photographs." So far, so good.
But Miller's proposal gave Reno progressive activists Judith Browne-Dianis and Bob Fulkerson a severe case of indigestion and/or heart palpitations. After correctly noting that Miller's plan would merge DMV and voting records and that voters without DMV-issued ID would have their photos taken by election workers, Browne-Dianis and Fulkerson objected on grounds that the photo ID requirement would create long lines at the polls. Nonsense!
I've been an elections worker since 1996 and I can assure you that things run smoothly at the polls in Carson City, and elsewhere in the Silver State. With modern technology, it would be easy to create instantaneous photo ID for anyone without such identification, just like they do at Costco and many other local businesses. If we're required to show photo ID to go to the dump or to use a credit card, what's the big deal about requiring it in order to vote?
I'll tell you who else had a problem with photo ID for voters - a shady organization called "ACORN," which was convicted of voter fraud for trying to register the Dallas Cowboys as Nevada voters in 2010. Secretary of State Miller and his fellow Democrat, Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto, sent a strong message to ACORN officials and other voter scammers by prosecuting them, which resulted in jail time and hefty fines for the guilty parties.
According to Miller, more than 85 percent of Nevadans already have photo ID on file with the DMV, so it would be easy to photograph the other 15 percent at the polls.
"The upgrade to an electronic poll book is long overdue," Miller wrote, adding that his plan "would make it substantially easier for our citizens to vote, while simultaneously making it more difficult to cheat."
But that doesn't satisfy progressives because "these restrictive laws are part of a concerted effort, usually by right-wing forces, to suppress the vote of people of color, young people, veterans, seniors and people who earn low incomes ..."
Oh oh, the vast (or half-vast) right-wing conspiracy is alive and well in the muddled minds of these progressive spokespersons, who must think that the rest of us are blithering idiots.
Bottom line: Photo ID is an eminently reasonable voting requirement and Secretary of State Miller should pursue it to a successful conclusion with the 2013 State Legislature. Merry Christmas!
• Guy W. Farmer has been a Nevada voter since 1962.