Here we go again.
Yesterday, Attorney Marc Elias, former general counsel to Hillary Clinton and the DNC, announced that his team has filed a lawsuit (see below) to prevent a Voter ID ballot initiative filed by David Gibbs of Repair The Vote. This is the second lawsuit filed by Elias’s team against Nevada’s Secretary of State related to Repair The Vote’s attempt to introduce Voter ID in Nevada. Elias also influenced changes to election procedures in a variety of states during the 2020 election by filing dozens of lawsuits and legal challenges.
The initiative, filed in early November, would amend the State Constitution to require that all persons voting in person present an approved photo identification before being provided a ballot. It also requires that voters submitting a mail-in ballot provide additional verification of their identity when completing their mail-in ballot.
NEW: On behalf of Nevada voter, my team is suing to block a misleading voter ID initiative from getting on the ballot. https://t.co/OFuCYrBz5x
— Marc E. Elias (@marceelias) December 5, 2023
The plaintiff in this case is Jennifer Fleischmann Willoughby (she, her, ella) Director Of Development for Make The Road Nevada, a “left-of-center community organizing group that focuses on immigration issues and organizes protests, community services and political advocacy efforts among the immigrant community in Nevada.”
The plaintiff contends that the initiative is misleading and contains an unfunded mandate, citing:
Article 19, Section 6 of the Nevada Constitution prohibits any initiative that “makes an appropriation or otherwise requires the expenditure of money, unless such statute or amendment also imposes a sufficient tax, not prohibited by the Constitution, or otherwise constitutionally provides for raising the necessary revenue.” Accordingly, when an initiative “creat[es] a new requirement for the appropriation of state funding that does not now exist,” it does not comply with Article 19, Section 6 and is void.
Also on the list of acceptable forms of photo identification for voting purposes is an unspecified “[o]ther form of government-issued photo identification that the Legislature may approve.” Id. Although the petition is not explicit, it plainly means to refer to an alternative form of identification that the Legislature would have to make available free of cost to Nevada voters who lack another acceptable form of identification. This is because, without such an option, the voter-identification law would be an unconstitutional poll tax.
The U.S. Supreme Court has held that requiring voters to pay a tax or fee to obtain the photo identification needed to vote constitutes an unlawful poll tax.
Providing for access to free voter identification for all Nevada voters would necessarily require the expenditure of significant government funds.
The Petition’s new mail-in ballot identification requirements would require the State to spend even more funds.
The Petition’s description of effect does not comply with NRS 295.009(1)(b) because it is deceptive, misleading, and fails to explain the ramifications of the proposed amendment to allow voters to make an informed decision, and is therefore invalid.
During his State of the State address, republican Governor Joe Lombardo vowed to implement Voter ID either through legislation or “at the ballot box.” During the Democratic response to Governor Lombardo’s State of the State, Speaker of the Assembly Steve Yeager proclaimed that any legislation related to voter integrity would be “dead on arrival.”
Nevadans deserve to have confidence that our elections are free and fair. It's time we institute common-sense election reforms:
✅Mail-In Ballots Are Received When Polls Close
❌End Universal Mail-In Ballots
❌End Unregulated Ballot Harvestinghttps://t.co/fZ8JkFP7iR
— Governor Joe Lombardo (@JosephMLombardo) January 31, 2023
Subsequently, legislation introduced by Governor Lombardo and republican lawmakers was ignored by the Democratic majority in spite of a significant majority of Nevadan’s supporting Voter ID.
When The Globe asked democratic leadership about Voter ID, Attorney General Aaron Ford claimed that Voter ID was “unconstitutional.”
David Gibbs told The Globe: “Why are democrats so afraid of Voter ID? Why are they so upset that voters have to prove who they are when they cast a ballot? Anytime someone tries to do anything to verify a voter, a democratic firm will sue you. They have done this is many states. I am not surprised they sued us again.”
Attempts to reach Jennifer Fleischmann Willoughby were unsuccessful. This is a developing story.Voter ID lawsuit
- Study: Nevada Ranks Second In Nation for Business - February 22, 2024
- Nevada SOS Issues Apology for ‘Glitch’ in Presidential Primary - February 22, 2024
- Report: Las Vegas Home Prices Up 217 Percent Since 2011 - February 20, 2024