Supporters of a bill that would require Nebraska voters to display photo identification to cast a ballot will attempt to cut off debate and force a vote on the issue this morning.
Lawmakers debated LB 239 sponsored by Sen. Charlie Janssen of Fremont and various amendments for approximately five hours at the Capitol on Tuesday evening, but never came to a vote on the bill. Opponents have launched a filibuster against it. When the legislature returns to the Capitol this morning, supporters will attempt to end the filibuster and call for a vote.
Sen. Charlie Janssen of Fremont sponsors the voter photo ID bill and introduced the measure as a way to protect the integrity and reliability of Nebraska elections.
“I’ve always felt it unusual when I go to my polling place that I don’t have to show my identification and many others have talked to me about this same issue,” Janssen said.
Janssen says his bill would insure against voter fraud.
But, Sen. Bill Avery of Lincoln questioned the motivation of those pushing the requirement.
“The question that really lies behind this bill is what; what is the purpose?” Avery asked colleagues. “Could it be voter suppression, because that’s probably what would happen? Because this will put a disproportionate burden on certain groups of voters; elderly, students, poor, rural and minority voters.”
The legislature traditionally allows eight hours of debate before it will entertain a motion to cut off debate.
AUDIO: Sen. Charlie Janssen makes opening statement on LB 239 [10 min]