Gov. Brian Sandoval issued a statement Tuesday saying he may veto Initiative Petition 1, mandating DMV register voters when they get or renew a drivers’ license.
The measure has now cleared both houses of the Nevada Legislature pretty much on party line votes and is on its way to his desk where staff says he will review the measure.
“Nevada has a respected election system with a high percentage of registered voters and participant rate,” the statement says. “The state also recently reached an agreement that provides that it is in compliance with the Voting Rights Act.”
That includes providing people doing business at DMV receive materials allowing them to decide whether they want to register to vote.
“The governor, among other issues, does have concerns with requiring individuals to opt out of compulsory voter registration and the unintended consequence of possibly registering individuals who are otherwise ineligible to vote,” according to the statement.
That issue was raised Monday by Sen. Ben Kieckhefer, R-Reno, who argued IP1 would weaken the state’s voter system because there are many people legally entitled to a drivers’ license who aren’t eligible to vote, including resident aliens. He said DMV workers don’t verify citizenship.
“There is no method to do that,” he said.
Therefore, he said, ineligible voters will be registered and their information transmitted to county clerks and the Secretary of State.
If Sandoval blocks final passage of IP1, the petition will be put on the next general election ballot for voters themselves to decide.