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Nevada DMV could automatically register voters if initiative petition passes muster

CARSON CITY — An initiative petition that would make it easier to register to vote could reach the Legislature next year after more than 125,000 signatures were turned in last week to county clerks for verification.

The Automatic Voter Registration Initiative would amend state law to require the Department of Motor Vehicles to transmit information to the secretary of state’s office to register people to vote or update their information. People could opt out of the program. Right now, people can register to vote at the DMV, but they have to “opt in.”

A second petition effort seeking to put a voter ID measure in front of lawmakers failed when no signatures were turned in by the Nov. 8 deadline.

County clerks have until Dec. 1 to verify the signatures. The petition needs at least 55,234 valid signatures to be approved.

The Nevada initiative is modeled after an Oregon law passed last year and implemented in January. Since it took effect the state has registered about 200,000 new voters.

If the measure is qualified, it will go to the 2017 Legislature. Lawmakers would have 40 days to act or it would automatically go to voters in 2018.

Contact Sean Whaley at swhaley@reviewjournal.com or 775-461-3820. Follow @seanw801 on Twitter.

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