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Voter registration bill heads to Senate after party-line vote in committee

Updated March 8, 2017 - 8:47 pm

CARSON CITY — An initiative to automatically register people to vote when they obtain or renew a driver’s license or identification card at a Department of Motor Vehicles office passed a Senate committee Wednesday on a 3-2 partisan vote.

The Automatic Voter Registration Initiative, or IP1, would amend Nevada law to require the DMV to transmit information to the secretary of state and county election offices to register people who obtain, renew or change an address on a driver’s license or identification card.

It is similar to existing law, except the new measure would require people who don’t want to register to opt out by checking a box indicating that preference. Currently, they have to opt in by filling out voter registration paperwork.

County election officials verify a person’s eligibility to vote.

Republican Sens. James Settelmeyer of Minden and Heidi Gansert voted against the measure. Democratic Sens. Nicole Cannizzaro and Tick Segerblom of Las Vegas and Kelvin Atkinson of North Las Vegas supported it.

Backers of IP1 collected signatures last year to send the proposal to the Legislature. The Assembly earlier approved it on a party-line vote, 27-15.

It now goes the full Senate.

Contact Sandra Chereb: schereb@reviewjournal.com or 775-461-3821. Follow @SandraChereb on Twitter.

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