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Nevadans lean towards automatic voter registration

Updated November 7, 2018 - 5:39 am

Nevadans are leaning toward a plan to automatically be registered to vote when they apply for a driver’s license in early returns on Question 5 in Tuesday’s election.

At 5 a.m. Wednesday, approval of the Automatic Voter Registration Initiative was ahead with 59.6 percent of people voting for it.

There was no organized opposition to the ballot measure, which was supported by Nevadans for Secure Elections, the iVote PAC and the American Civil Liberties Union, which collectively spent $1.5 million toward passage.

Sondra Cosgrove, president of the League of Women Voters and a backer of the Question 5 initiative, said late Tuesday that the mandate provided by voters will enable the Legislature to acquire software that will encrypt voter registration and make voting process more secure for Nevadans.

“This authorizes the Legislature to do that and I’m going to be pushing for it,” she said.

Among the frustrations people have had are forms when they register to vote. Cosgrove says that should decline with the registration system within the Department of Motor Vehicles.

The reason the question landed on the ballot was that Gov. Brian Sandoval vetoed legislation approved on party lines by the Legislature in 2017.

In his veto message, Sandoval said the measure removes an individual’s right to decide whether to register to vote and turns it over to the government.

People who go to the Department of Motor Vehicles for services could still opt out of voter registration by filling out a form. Under current policy, visitors to the DMV can opt in to voter registration.

Opponents also said it would cost around $221,000 to develop the system with no evidence that it would increase voter turnout.

This is a breaking news story. Check back here for updates.

Contact Richard N. Velotta at rvelotta@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3893. Follow @RickVelotta on Twitter.

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