Newly Introduced Bill Could Change Nebraska Voter ID Laws

Posted By: Pierce Georlett

A new bill introduced Wednesday to state legislators could change how we vote in the Cornhusker State.

State Senator John Murante, a Republican of Gretna, introduced a bill that would change voter ID laws. Murante has tried similar measures before, but those attempts ended in filibustering.

"It’s extremely important we have some reasonable protection in place to make sure that the people on our voter roles are legally entitled to be registered to vote," said Murante.

Under the bill, citizens would need show a proper government-issued ID, such as a driver’s license, in order to vote. However, opponents believe that passing such a law may cause some voters to simply not vote.

"Data from around the country has shown that voter identification law severely impacts communities, minority communities the elderly, veterans, rural voter it really just slashes participation numbers across the board," said John Cartier, Director of Voting Rights at Civic Nebraska.

Nebraska is not the first state to propose or make changes to their voter registration laws.

"So the first state we always look at is Indiana,” said Murante. “Indiana is the case that passed vote identification, the voter identification law was taken to the United States Supreme Court, and the Supreme Court upheld that their law was constitutional."

Not all of Murante’s colleagues believe a change is necessary.

"We’re continually looking for the evil that I’m not sure exists within terms of voter fraud," said Senator Bob Krist, an Independent of Omaha.

Senator Murante does not believe his ID bill would deteriorate voter turnout.

 "I believe we can enact voter identification laws which do not turn people away from the poles I believe we have accomplished that," said Murante.