- Associated Press - Thursday, February 20, 2014

CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) - A second lawsuit was filed Thursday over an initiative proposed by conservative activist Sharron Angle to require photo identification to vote in Nevada.

The latest legal challenge was filed in District Court in Carson City by the American Civil Liberties Union of Nevada and the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights.

It comes on the heels of a separate suit filed Wednesday.

Both argue the proposed constitutional amendment illegally commands the Legislature to enact the law and intrudes on powers reserved for the legislative branch.

Angle’s initiative would require election officials to issue free voter identification cards that contain photographs to anyone who does not have a valid photo ID issued by a government entity.

The lawsuits argue the free cards amount to an unfunded mandate in violation of a constitutional provision requiring any initiative that involves an expense to include a funding source. They further claim a “description of effect” - a required summary of what the law would do - is lacking.

“For those voters that will be subject to the petition’s rules … the petition will require them to obtain a new identification care every time they move,” said one suit filed on behalf of two Clark County voters that is backed by lawyers tied to the Democratic Party.

Under existing state law, Nevada voters who move between counties or precincts after the close of registration can vote in the precinct where they previously resided for that election.

Tod Story, executive director of the ACLU of Nevada, said the voter ID initiative “is at odds with the fundamental right to vote.”

“Voter identification requirements create a real barrier for Nevada’s who do not have government-issued photo identification, and a disproportionate number of these Nevadans are low-income, racial and ethnic minorities, and elderly,” he said.

He added that the initiative would require raising taxes “solely to impose a cumbersome burden on voters.”

According to the National Council of State Legislatures, 34 states have some type of voter ID laws on the books, though not all are in force and some are being challenges in courts.

Angle is a former state assemblywoman from Reno who, with the backing of the tea party, came out the victor in a crowded Republican field hoping to unseat Democratic U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in 2010. Reid defeated Angle by 41,000 votes.

After her defeat, she said she was devoting her time to exposing alleged voter fraud in a documentary.


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