State Senator Charlie Janssen introduced LB381 today, a bill that would require citizens to present government-issued photo-identification to vote. The only type of fraud this bill protects against is voter impersonation— the rarest form of voter fraud in the nation. The Nebraska Deputy Secretary of State testified on Senator Janssen's Voter ID bill last session and admitted that voter impersonation is not an issue for Nebraska.
The bill, if passed, would affect the voting rights or primarily students, seniors, low-income, and rural Nebraskans. For highly mobile populations such as students and low-income voters, this creates an unnecessary barrier and added costs to casting one's ballot on Election Day. This bill creates barriers for elderly and homebound Nebraskans who are unable to make it to the DMV to get proper identification to vote. For rural Nebraskans, DMV offices are often further away and have limited hours, presenting a barrier for them as well.
Executive Director of Nebraskans for Civic Reform Adam Morfeld stated: "Voter impersonation is a nonexistent issue for Nebraskans, and requiring ID at the polls is an unnecessary law that impedes on our fundamental right to vote." Morfeld went on to state, "NCR and the Nebraska Voting Rights Coalition will continue to advocate against, and work to defeat voter suppression legislation such as LB 381."
Senator Janssen's similar bill last session was met by the Voting Rights Coalition of over 30 community groups—including groups such as Nebraskans for Civic Reform, Nebraska Appleseed, Nebraska ACLU, Center for People in Need, AARP Nebraska, and the Nebraska State Education Association— who united in opposition to the bill and defeated it last session. The coalition will work once again to defeat this bill and ensure that all Nebraskans can easily and fairly exercise their right to vote.