Automatic Voter Registration in Nevada: ACLU says apply the honor system to illegals

In November 2018, voters in Nevada approved a ballot initiative called the Automatic Voter Registration via DMV Initiative, by a 60% to 40% margin.

Before automatic voter registration (AVR) became law, voter registration in Nevada was an opt-in system, as eligible individuals needed to choose to enroll. AVR changed voter registration to an opt-out system, wherein the state government places an individual on the voter rolls unless they decline to register.

Under AVR in Nevada, Department of Motor Vehicles data from applications for new driver's licenses or driver’s license renewals, or changes of address, is automatically forwarded to the secretary of state and county clerk for voter registration.

‘Driver Authorization Cards’ in Nevada

Nevada residents (in the sense that they physically live there) who cannot meet proof of identity requirements for a driver's license can obtain what is a called a Driver Authorization Card (DAC).

A DAC is not accepted as valid identification to obtain any state benefits or services or for federal purposes such as boarding an aircraft or entering restricted facilities.

A new Nevada Independent report called Voter rolls swell as automatic registration takes effect specifies how certain groups are promoting changes that should be interpreted as steps in the direction of allowing non-citizens to vote in Nevada.

The “problem”, as advocacy groups see it, is that holders of Driver Authorization Cards will be excluded from automatic voter registration. The Nevada Independent explains how this will work:

Customers [at the DMV] who submit documents that deem them ineligible to vote, such as a permanent resident card or any documentation indicating the person will not be 18 years old by the next election, are excluded from the AVR system and their documents are not sent to the secretary of state. Instead, the customer receives a Notice of Ineligibility print-out, with information on alternative ways to register (such as through the secretary of state website) if the customer believes they are indeed eligible.

The exclusion of DAC holders from automatic voter registration, because they haven't proven eligibility to vote, has raised concerns among what are called voting rights groups.

Last year, Mi Familia Vota, the national Voting Rights Project of the ACLU, Demos and the Brennan Center for Justice raised concerns that excluding DAC holders and applicants might exclude eligible voters from AVR. Advocates said that AVR should not be denied based on whether a customer holds a DAC, but rather that DAC holders should be allowed to affirm eligibility to vote, under penalty of perjury.

To summarize: The ACLU, the Brennan Center for Justice and similar groups want to rely on the “honor system” and allow illegal aliens to assert that they are eligible to register to vote, as if the interest of these people in following rules and procedures is something that should be self-evident to anyone.

Disclaimer: Information on this website is not legal advice.