ICYMI: Nevada Republicans Propose Legislation Targeting Low-Income & Minority Voters
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 30, 2015
ICYMI: NEVADA REPUBLICANS PROPOSE LEGISLATION TARGETING LOW-INCOME & MINORITY VOTERS
CARSON CITY - On Friday, the Las Vegas Sun and the Huffington Post detailed legislation introduced by Nevada Senate and Assembly Republicans that would have a disparate impact on middle and lower income voters, particularly African-Americans and Latinos.
Nevada is currently one of the most accessible voting states in the country. Senate Bills 433, 437, and Assembly Bill 459 target Sunday and early voting hours utilized by minority voters and shift workers, particularly Nevadans working in the tourism and hospitality industries. The bills also open the door to racial profiling against Latinos and other groups by allowing a voter’s registration to be terminated based on arbitrary suspicion regarding that voter’s citizenship.
From the Huffington Post:
A Nevada state Senate committee has introduced legislation that would eliminate early voting on Sundays and restrict counties' abilities to set their own voting hours, in the latest move to reshape how elections are held in the state.
Senate Bill 433 was introduced on Monday by the Nevada Senate Committee on Legislative Operations and Elections. Under the terms of the bill, voting on Sundays during the early voting period ahead of next year's elections would no longer be allowed, and counties would no longer be able to keep their polls open beyond 7 p.m. Previously, polling sites in areas like Clark County, which contains Las Vegas, had kept polls open until 9 p.m.
Yvanna Cancela, the political director of the Culinary Union 226, which represents more than 55,000 employees on the Las Vegas strip and at the city's airport, called Senate Bill 433 an intentional effort to suppress the votes of the union's members.
“This is a deliberate attempt to make it harder for people to vote, and specifically in Nevada, in Las Vegas, where there is a 24-hour economy, it is not like in other cities where most people work 9-to-5 jobs," Cancela told HuffPost. "If you look at our people, like the gaming industry workers, this would dramatically affect their ability to vote based on their work schedule."
From the Las Vegas Sun:
Rebuked by election experts and Democrats as discriminatory legislation, a recent wave of GOP-backed voter reform bills will add more fuel to an ongoing debate about voter fraud, turnout and disenfranchisement in the Nevada Legislature.
The legislation follows a Republican trend nationwide to hash stricter voting laws in the name of election integrity and accessibility, fueling a partisan issue that’s landed in federal courts across the country.
The new bills eliminate early voting on Sundays and grant state officials authority to terminate registrations of voters who “may not be citizens” while providing a myriad of safeguards to ensure noncitizens don’t vote.
Nevada is currently known as one of the most accessible places to vote in the country, and the bills perpetuate a myth that there’s rampant voter fraud in Nevada, said David Damore, a political science professor at UNLV.
That mindset is a “slap in the face” to Nevada elections and the officials who run them, he said.