Identification is required when registering to vote |

Identification is required when registering to vote

Terri Harber

CARSON CITY – People involved with Campaña Pro-Voto, the local group attempting to increase the number of Hispanics voting, emphasize they seek only U.S. citizens, not undocumented residents, to cast ballots and learn about issues that affect their community.

Noncitizen voting hasn’t been happening much in Carson City, according to Alan Glover, the city’s clerk-recorder and head of the elections office.

“I don’t think we have a major problem in this area, but you have to be vigilant,” he said.

There have only been a few instances where non-U.S. citizens have registered to vote, Glover said.

When people register to vote they are required to provide a photo identification card. If the card doesn’t provide a current address, the applicant also must provide a utility bill, bank statement, paycheck or document issued by a governmental entity, with the person’s name and address printed on it, and then sign an affidavit stating they are providing truthful information, he said.

Also on the list of accepted forms of picture identification are passports, or cards issued by American Indian tribes, the U.S. armed forces, insurance plans, sheriff’s departments located in Nevada, or public or private schools, colleges and universities.

Nevada state-issued driver’s licenses and identification cards aren’t as easy to get as they once were. Applicants are required to present a Social Security card and birth certificate before obtaining a Nevada license or ID, according to the Department of Motor Vehicles.

“It’s virtually impossible to get a license or ID in Nevada if you’re here illegally,” said Tom Jacobs, the department’s public information officer. “This is the last place where you should slap down a false ID because our employees are well-trained in spotting false IDs.”

If a would-be voter registers by mail, they must return the form with photocopies of similar documents.

Instances of people voting who shouldn’t are usually discovered when the person is summoned for jury duty. On that form people are again asked whether they are U.S. citizens. If they answer “no” on the jury form and “yes” on the voter registration form, then the veracity of both forms is checked, Glover said.

“Did they lie to us when they registered to vote or when they were asked to go on jury duty?” he asked. “We investigate each one of those instances.”

Identity and residency are two different questions, and both must be answered satisfactorily by someone registering to vote before they are actually allowed to do it, according to state law.

“We don’t have the authority to go any further” in checking whether someone is being truthful when they register, Glover added. “It’s up to state Legislature or Congress to give us more authority.”

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