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Election Modernization Could Cost Less Than $800,000 According to Fiscal Note; Cost Equates to Just 60 Cents per Voter
Secretary of State Ross Miller says modernization’s modest cost provides an opportunity to increase access to polls for eligible voters while also providing enhanced electoral safeguards
Posted Date: 1/29/2013

Contact: Catherine Lu 
             (702) 486-6982 / 334-7953 

(Carson City, NV; January 29, 2013) — The total financial impact to Nevada to update its antiquated, paper-based elections poll book system would be $787,200 according to a fiscal note accompanying Senate Bill 63, Secretary of State Ross Miller’s election modernization bill. The cost estimate would include significant enhancements and updates to existing systems and equipment, including the use of electronic poll books at every polling location within the state.

“This past weekend, I met with colleagues from around the country at the National Association of Secretaries of State winter meeting where there was significant bipartisan discussion about the need to modernize our antiquated election systems,” said Miller. “Nevada is well prepared to lead in these efforts because our election administration system is already very advanced. I’ve said from the beginning that the technology would not be a major hurdle, and this fiscal note reflects that.

“Less than $800,000 is a small price to pay to enhance and modernize our existing system. When we have the opportunity to increase access to our polling locations and further strengthen the security of our system, without disenfranchising any voters, we should do so. With 1.3 million active registered voters in Nevada, upgrading the system would only cost 60 cents per voter.”

The fiscal note as prepared by the Secretary of State’s office is broken down as follows: 
        • Secretary of State 
                o Administration and Utilization - $25,000 
                o Voter Education - $50,0000 
        • Counties 
                o Election Management System Programming - $168,000 
                o Polling Place Equipment and Hardware - $629,200 
        • Department of Motor Vehicles 
                o Enhance System to Provide Photos - $100,000

The fiscal note includes a cost reduction of $185,000 from reduced printing costs and polling place workers.

SB 63 aims to upgrade Nevada’s antiquated and aging paper roster system by implementing electronic rosters with the enhanced feature of a photograph of each registered voter, preventing ineligible voters from impersonating other, eligible voters at the polling place. The bill seeks to import existing photographs of eligible voters from the Nevada DMV database of drivers’ licenses and state identification cards into an “electronic poll book” as an adjunct to the existing poll books that currently use signatures for identifying voters. When photographs of the eligible voters are not available through the database, poll workers will be available to take photos at the polling place at the time of voting and verify their identity by way of an affidavit.

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