Here’s hoping exactly NO ONE is surprised by Secretary of State candidate Barbara Cegavske’s announcement that she is in favor of photo ID requirements for voting. [LVRJ] The issue is on the GOP’s top ten list of ways to prevent “those people” from voting. No matter that this is a solution without a problem – list the number of prosecutable voter impersonation cases brought in Nevada in the last 10 years? None. And, forget the whine: “she noted there is a pool of money at the Department of Motor Vehicles that is used to replace homeless persons’ IDs when lost. “We don’t want to suppress anybody,” she said.” [LVRJ] Do we have to reprint the DMV office map for Nevada? The one that shows how far some people would have to go to get a replacement ID, or an original for that matter? If you’ve clicked on the link, you’ll see that DMV offices are clustered in our metropolitan areas, with five in the Reno-Carson area. Now look at the space between the “pins” and imagine all the people people who live in Nye, Lincoln, Elko, Humboldt, Lander, and Eureka counties.
One glance at the map and it’s obvious the people without IDs who will be the most inconvenienced are in rural Nevada. Another group which will be seriously inconvenienced are the elderly. And, just for good measure there are those “other people” (Democrats, young people, working people, women, and minority ethnic people) who might “commit voter fraud!” In September 2013 we were treated to the Great Walk Back during which Republican Assemblyman Pat Hickey (Reno) kicked off a brush fire when he said the 2014 elections would be good for Republicans because “minorities and young people” wouldn’t be voting. There’s nothing like a bit of Wisconsin, Texas, Kansas, Ohio Republican vote suppression laws to insure this result.
If we go back just a bit further, in 2012 Nevada was treated to some Republican fraud in the form of Nathan Sproul deliberately misleading Nevadans about voting and voter registration. Sproul’s efforts were brought to light in September 2012. The suggestion that Nevada voters need identification cards was precisely what Sproul was promoting during his scam in southern Nevada.
Sadly, this isn’t the first venture into Voter ID Vote Suppression in this state, witness Senator Mike Roberson’s SB 373 in 2011, joining the efforts of the Suppression Six in the state legislature. Sharron Angle, Tea Party darling, is certain there’s an epidemic of voter impersonation fraud sweeping the nation. Angle would make a movie about this if she could find any examples?
But wait, there’s another little nugget in Cegavske’s commentary which ought to attract a bit more attention. Read this again:
“She argued that a business background makes her more qualified for the job than her opponent Kate Marshall, the Democratic state treasurer. If elected, Cegavske said she would like to allow county district attorneys to prosecute cases of fraud in the securities division that now are all led by lawyers in the attorney general’s office.” [LVRJ] (emphasis added)
First, Cegavske isn’t running for Attorney General, which is probably a good thing because NRS 90.615 already allows District Attorneys to prosecute IF (1) the prosecution is at the request of the Attorney General or (2) IF the state AG doesn’t prosecute. Evidently, the candidate’s “business background” doesn’t include knowledge of the current statutory provisions regarding the prosecution of securities fraud in Nevada. Secondly, while District Attorneys’ offices might be staffed and equipped to handle securities fraud in metropolitan areas – this could be a problem for smaller, less well staffed operations in the rural part of the state. Not. Quite. Ready. For. Prime. Time.
But Cegavske, a staunch stalwart ultra-conservative legislator, is completely ready, willing and even enthusiastic about turning Nevada into the next Wisconsin, Texas, Kansas, or Ohio … with vote suppression antics of no value to anyone except the corporate interests and their Republican allies who are equally enthusiastic about excluding their critics from the ballot box.