Nevada Interim Finance Committee to vote on funding for voter registration
The Interim Finance Committee will vote Jan. 30 on two contingency fund requests to begin implementing the voter-approved mandate DMV register all eligible voters that come through their doors.
Question 5 was approved by voters without giving them an estimate what the mandate would cost for such things as determining a person’s eligibility to vote.
To get through this fiscal year, the Department of Motor Vehicles says it needs $84,000 to begin implementing the requirement. The Secretary of State’s Elections Division is seeking $234,320 to cover its costs through June 30.
Those amounts would have to come from the IFC Contingency Fund.
Both agencies have said those are just the initial costs, that depending on how the mandate is implemented, there could be significantly higher costs.
Lawmakers will be asked to fund those additional costs during the upcoming legislative session.
Elections Deputy Wayne Thorley said his costs could range as high as $4.8 million if his office has to develop a statewide voter registration database but there would be no impact if DMV simply sends the registrations directly to county registrars.
But he said no matter what, the law will cost the counties. Carson City Clerk Recorder Aubrey Rowlatt said she expects the new law could increase voter registration in Carson City by about 10,000, increasing the workload on staff enough to require an additional position.
There would also be increases in printing and postage costs, voter registration cards, update cards, sample and absentee ballots. She estimated it will cost the capital $186,225 in office equipment, software and added voting machines along with $61,200 a year for the added staff member, postage and printing.
Clark County’s estimate is one time and annual costs up to $500,000.
Under the new statute, DMV customers will have to sign a release stating they don’t want to register or giving a reason why they can’t or they would automatically be registered.