WASHINGTON, D.C. — On Tuesday, Aug. 23, a lawsuit was filed on behalf of a Nevada voter in state court challenging a new Republican-led ballot initiative seeking to create strict ID rules for future elections. The initiative, filed on Aug. 3 by R.I.S.E. Nevada, seeks to create a new photo ID requirement for in-person voting, limit acceptable IDs that voters can present to cure a mismatched signature and require the state to provide free photo IDs to voters who don’t have photo IDs that include their signatures. This is the third Republican attempt this year to put a voter ID ballot initiative on the state’s ballot. The first attempt, spearheaded by a Republican-led PAC called Repair the Vote, was invalidated in April. The second attempt, filed by R.I.S.E. Nevada in mid-May, was rejected on July 29, mere days before the group filed the nearly identical initiative at the center of today’s lawsuit.
The lawsuit alleges that this new ballot initiative “proposes significant changes to Nevada voting procedures” — including “designing, printing, and administering a new form of required photo ID” that would be free to voters — without specifying how these changes would be funded by the state. The plaintiff argues that the “creation and issuance of a new special photo ID will also come with substantial costs to the state, as confirmed by numerous studies over the last decade.” One such study found that it cost Indiana over $1.3 million to provide nearly 170,000 free IDs in 2010. The lawsuit asks this new ballot initiative to be rejected by the state court so it doesn’t appear on future ballots. Notably, R.I.S.E. Nevada’s first ballot initiative was invalidated for failing to specify how the proposal would be funded.