Controversial bill on voter ID fails to advance

Posted By: Megan Conway

The Legislative chamber was full of heated debate Tuesday and Wednesday over LB 111. It’s a bill proposed by Sen. Tyson Larson to require every Nebraskan to have a voter ID, but there were arguments that it’d be expensive to implement. and would suppress the vote of minorities and low income people. They took a vote and it was pushed to the bottom of this year’s agenda, which means it will most likely not return to the floor.

“LB 111 is a bill that is asking us to put encumbers, or restrictions on a fundamental, constitutional right,” says Sen. Sue Crawford of Omaha.

Others say voting is a right that should be protected.

“It’s a sincere desire to ensure the integrity of our voting system and to make sure that people when they go to vote believe that their vote is not being canceled out by someone who shouldn’t vote,” says Sen. Bill Kintner of Omaha.

Sen. Larson said 79 percent of Nebraskans support the bill and that many countries across the world require IDs. It’d also give everyone a free ID they could use for other situations. The bill also had 8 amendments attached to it, which some Senators said meant the bill needed redrafting. Another argument is that there has never been a case a voter fraud in Nebraska’s history and that we already have plenty of laws in place to catch someone if they ever tried to vote illegally.

“The numbers are not there to justify the cost,” says Brett Lindstrom of Omaha.

When the Senators voted, it turned out 25 in favor of bracketing or pushing the bill to the bottom of the list and 17 against.

“I think there’s just a fundamental ideological difference and I can understand that but it doesn’t mean that the issue is done,” says Sen. Larson.