A bill to require Nebraska voters to display a photographic identification to vote has been defeated in the Unicameral.
State senators voted 25-to-15 for a so-called “bracket” motion, shelving LB 111 for the remainder of the session. The procedural vote effectively kills the legislation this year.
Sen. Tyson Larson of O’Neill admits the vote somewhat surprised him. Larson says he knew he would have difficulty gathering the votes needed to end a filibuster mounted against the bill and bring it to a vote.
“I’m obviously disappointed when 79% of Nebraskans support voter ID and 25 members of the legislature decide that it’s not a path that they want to follow,” Larson tells Nebraska Radio Network. “It’s frustrating, but it’s something that we work with and we’ll move forward on.”
Larson promoted the bill as a way to combat voter fraud and uphold the integrity of the voting process in Nebraska.
Opponents cast the bill as an unneeded obstacle to the fundamental, constitutional right to vote, which would disproportionately affect the poor and minorities. Some called the measure racist, a charge Larson rejects, stating it isn’t even relevant to the discussion.
Despite the setback this session, Larson insists voter photo ID is coming.
“I don’t think the issue will ever be dead until it passes in the state of Nebraska.”
AUDIO: Brent Martin reports [:40]