Angle files petition for voter ID law

Sharron Angle, a former Nevada assemblywoman and failed U.S. Senate candidate who has made fighting alleged election corruption a personal quest, wants to amend the state constitution to require photo identification to vote.

The Voter ID Initiative was filed Wednesday with the Secretary of State’s Office.

Angle, a conservative-cause crusader, won a crowded Republican primary field in Nevada’s 2010 U.S. Senate race but lost to Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid by 41,000 votes.

After her defeat, she said she was working on a documentary to expose alleged voter fraud. Angle did not run for any office in 2012, but may be considering options for this year’s election. Her website includes a poll asking supporters what office she should run for, including secretary of state, the state’s top election official.

Angle did not immediately respond to messages Thursday seeking comment.

The state Democratic Party seized on the initiative to rally its base of supporters.

“Remember Sharron Angle?” spokesman Zach Hudson said an email. “Well, she’s back — and she is coming after your right to vote.”

Democrats are linking Angle, called an extremist by some in her own party, with other Republicans, including state Sen. Barbara Cegavske.

Cegavske, R-Las Vegas, a fellow conservative who has supported tighter election laws in the past, is running for secretary of state. The Democratic candidate is current state Treasurer Kate Marshall.

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

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 challenged in courts. Last week a judge in Pennsylvania struck down a requirement that nearly all of the state’s 8.2 million voters show photo identification at the polls, saying it imposes an unreasonable burden on the right to vote and that officials failed to demonstrate the need.

The voter ID initiative is the second filed by Angle this month. The other, called the Healthcare Freedom Protection Act, seeks a constitutional amendment to outlaw health insurance exchanges in Nevada, a move directed at overturning the federal health care reform law.

Nevada was one of 16 states that formed online exchanges for people to purchase health insurance as required under the law.

If the initiatives survive likely court challenges, supporters would need to collect more than 101,000 signatures by June 17 to qualify for the November general election ballot. They would then have to be approved by voters again in 2016 to become law.


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