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EDITORIAL: Defenders of ‘democracy’ want Voter ID off ballot

Nationally, Democrats profess a deep affection for “democracy” — all while trying to keep Donald Trump, and even potential third-party presidential challengers, off the ballot. In Nevada, their conviction to the concept of democracy runs just as shallow, as they seek to block voters from passing judgment on a Voter ID ballot question this fall.

In November, a GOP political action committee calling itself Repair The Vote filed a petition for a statewide referendum that would amend the Nevada Constitution to require that voters “present photo identification to verify their identity when voting in person at a polling place.” It provides for numerous acceptable ID options and empowers state lawmakers to add additional alternatives at their discretion.

It also mandates that those who vote by mail include a numerical identifier in addition to a signature when submitting the ballot. That could be part of a driver’s license or Social Security number.

In order to qualify the proposal for the ballot in November, the group has until early July to submit around 102,000 eligible signatures. Nevada voters would have to approve the amendment twice for it to become law.

Yet at this point it’s unclear whether Nevadans will have the opportunity to pass judgment on the proposal. In December, an “immigrant advocacy group” filed suit to scuttle the amendment on the grounds that it might require a taxpayer outlay that isn’t identified in the initiative’s language. The group is represented by Democratic activists who moonlight as attorneys.

We’ll leave the arguments for and against Voter ID for another day, but suffice it to say that the U.S. Supreme Court has found the requirement meets constitutional standards. In addition, 36 states have some sort of Voter ID mandate in place, and there’s no evidence it has proved an obstacle to exercising the franchise.

Yet the leftists who now dominate the Democratic Party insist that requiring voters to confirm their identity isn’t simply a commonsense election integrity safeguard, but rather a vast right-wing conspiracy to prevent a wide swath of the electorate from going to the polls. It is noteworthy, however, that they can’t convince many of their political allies that this is true. Opinion surveys show strong support for Voter ID, even among Democrats.

Which raises the question: Why are progressives — particularly an “immigrant advocacy group” — so insistent on opposing Voter ID requirements?

The activist lawsuit is on shaky ground, as the measure could be implemented without any additional financial commitment from the state. In reality, though, it doesn’t matter how the amendment is written. The self-described defenders of democracy will do everything they can to prevent state voters from ever seeing it. How democratic of them.

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