OAN’s Noah Herring
11:03 AM – Wednesday, May 31, 2023
Nebraska lawmakers have advanced a bill on Tuesday in its second-round of debate that requires voter ID from state voters.
Last November, the majority of Nebraskan citizens voted in favor of requiring voter ID, leaving legislators with the task of making it happen.
The bill was advanced despite Republicans disagreeing on whether the legislation does enough to combat voter fraud. Senator Julie Slama (R-Neb.) has been the one filibustering the latest version of the bill for this reason.
Reportedly, the Nebraska lawmakers are scheduled to discuss the bill on Thursday in a final debate, the same day they plan to adjourn the session. The measure is expected to pass as it is backed by the Republican governor and the secretary of state who oversees elections.
Slama challenged the current bill, as she is looking for including notarization of mail-in ballots, audits of witness signatures for mail-in ballots, and verification of voters’ citizenship, with some election officials claiming her preferences would counter constitutional law and could disenfranchise some voters.
“It’s voter ID without the voter ID,” Slama said. “You have exceptions a mile wide to where anybody voting in person or through mail-in voting can have their vote counted even if they don’t present a voter identification. I’m not backing down; I’m fighting for the people on this one.”
During the debate of LB 514, concerns were brought forth about people who claim they cannot get an ID in time for the next election.
“We want to honor the will of the people, even if we personally disagree with voter ID,” said Senator Danielle Conrad (D-NEB.), “But we need to honor the will of the people as effectuated through that vote. We need to take lessons from the courts, we need to take lessons from our sister states, and we need to make sure we do not disenfranchise other eligible voters.”
Slama introduced her own “fraud-friendly” bill in the session,however, the government and Military Affairs Committee put together the current version of the bill with Secretary of State Bob Enven.
The current bill would allow a wide variety of photo identification that voters can present at the polls including passports, driver’s licenses, military and tribal IDs and Nebraska college IDs. Expired IDs would also be allowed as long as there is the voters’ name and photo on it. Residents of hospitals, nursing homes and assisted living centers would also be allowed to use patient documents that include a photo.
“It’s unfortunate,”Slama said, blaming the bill on Enven. “Because we really do have here a measure that does not follow through with the wishes of the voters. It’s not clean.”
The bill was defended by Senator Tom Brewer (R-Neb.) noting that 92 county election commissioners out of 93 counties signed off on the bill. The only holdout was Sarpy County Election Commissioner Emily Ethington, Slama’s sister.
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