Below is the process followed by local election officials and the Secretary of State’s office when an individual registers to vote in Nevada. This process is outlined in Nevada Revised Statutes (NRS) 293.2725 and 293.5235, as well as Section 303(b) of the Help America Vote Act (HAVA).
- The information on the voter registration form is entered into the county voter registration system. This information is then sent to the Secretary of State’s office during the nightly upload process where it is verified against the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), the Social Security Administration (SSA), the Office of Vital Statistics, and existing records within the Statewide Voter Registration List.
- If the verification process is able to validate the information submitted on the voter registration form, the voter is put in “active” status and is eligible to vote in elections in Nevada. When the voter goes to the polls to vote for the first time in Nevada, the voter does not have to show any identification since the voter’s identification information has already been matched against existing records pursuant to federal and state law (Help America Vote Act of 2002 and NRS 293.2725). Signature verification is still performed at the polling location.
- If the information submitted on the voter registration form matches an existing registration in the Statewide Voter Registration List, a notice is sent to the county that a potential duplicate registration exists and the county (or counties) works to resolve the issue. This generally happens when a registered voter moves within the state (either intra-county or cross-county) and registers to vote at their new address.
- If the verification process is unable to validate the information on the voter registration form, the county reaches out to the person to make sure all the information they included on their voter registration was correct. Small typos, data entry errors, and sloppy handwriting can prevent the county from being able to authenticate the record. Similarly, bogus or fabricated information will prevent the local election official from authenticating the information provided. These voters are put in “active pending” status and are not allowed to vote until the information concerning their registration can be confirmed or they appear to vote in person and provide photo identification and proof of residency.
- If the voter registration form is missing critical eligibility information (e.g., affirmation the voter is eligible to vote, signature, Driver’s License number, or Social Security Number), the county reaches out to the person to obtain the missing critical eligibility information. These voters are put in “fatal pending” status and are ineligible to vote until the critical eligibility criteria has been provided to the county. If a voter does not have a valid Nevada Driver’s License/Identification Card or a Social Security Number, the voter must sign an affidavit attesting to this fact and provide alternate proof of identification and residency before being allowed to vote.
Additionally, Nevada is a founding member of the Electronic Registration Information Center (ERIC), a nonprofit organization assisting states to improve the accuracy of their voter rolls. Every 60 days, Nevada’s voter registration records and DMV records are uploaded to ERIC and compared against data supplied by the other 20 participating ERIC states (including Washington, D.C.), the Social Security Death Index, and the U.S. Postal Service’s National Change of Address database in an effort to identify deceased individuals and those registered to vote in more than one state. Any potential duplications or deceased voters are reported to the Secretary of State’s office and local election officials for further investigation and processing, and as appropriate, removal from or correction of the voter roll.