They, instead, won a procedural vote to, in effect, kill it.
Opponents of LB 111, which would require Nebraskans to display photo identification to cast ballots, had mounted a filibuster against it. They prepared to spend days criticizing the bill, seeking to block it from ever coming to a vote.
Criticism varied. Yet, a theme emerged that it would suppress certain voters, especially minorities and the poor.
Sen. Adam Morfeld of Lincoln typified the argument when he stated during legislative debate that requiring a Nebraska resident to display a photo ID to cast a ballot erects obstacles to a cherished right.
“And I’m strongly opposed to it, because this is the perfect example of an unnecessary, burdensome government regulation on a fundamental right,” Morfeld said.
Supporters of the bill stated the requirement would combat voter fraud, insuring that those who show up at the polls are who they say they are. The sponsor of the bill said he modeled it after an Indiana law upheld by the United States Supreme Court.
During legislative debate, Sen. John Murante of Gretna, the chairman of the Government, Military, and Veterans Affairs Committee that advanced the bill to the full Unicameral for debate, issued a challenge to opponents.
“But if you want to kill it, let’s just kill it. File a bracket motion and kill the thing and we’ll be done with it,” Murante stated. “We could be done by the end of the day if you have the votes to kill it.”
Opponents took him up on the offer. A motion to bracket won with the bare minimum of votes needed on a 25-to-15 vote, effectively killing the bill for the session.
AUDIO: Brent Martin reports [:50]