Nevada Secretary of State Cisco Aguilar on Monday requested new funding from the state legislature to update two major computer systems, one for voter registration and elections and another for business licensing.
“Updating the state’s technology is critical to ensuring our government is transparent and accessible – Nevadans deserve systems that work for them and doesn’t make their lives harder,” Aguilar said in a press release. “These technology upgrades to our election and business licensing systems have long been needed – and our office is ready to use this funding to make great improvements across the state.”
As part of his budget proposal, Aguilar requested $30 million for a centralized voter registration system. His office said the funding would speed along development of the state’s ongoing Voter Registration & Election Management Solution, or VERMS, project. The project, which centers around the purchase of a “commercial off-the-shelf” solution, was initiated in 2021 by former Secretary of State Barbara Cegavske, who deemed an alternative proposal for a custom-built solution to carry “significant risk.”
Cegavske’s office originally estimated the VERMS project would cost between $9.5 million and $22 million. Her office described the move to a centralized platform as a transition from a “bottom-up” to a “top-down” system, in which the state’s 1.8 million registered voters could access a “more unified, consistent, and efficient elections system.”
Aguilar also requested $15 million for Project Orion, an overhaul of the state’s business licensing portal, which is called SilverFlume. His office said that funding would help fix bugs and streamline business processes in the platform, which has occasionally suffered outages. Aguilar’s office claims that SilverFlume last year collected $200 million for the state’s coffers.
The proposed budget also included funding requests for new staff to support elections and business licensing development, a mail-in-ballot tracking and notification system, a website redesign and language translation services.