Sen. John Murante of Gretna has given up on his constitutional amendment, which would have had Nebraska voters decide whether they needed identification to vote.
Murante called for a so-called “cloture” vote after giving an opening statement on LR 1CA, though he knew he didn’t have the votes to cut off debate and go to a vote on his measure.
“It was clear to me that minds weren’t changing,” Murante told reporters afterward. “So, rather than talking about it for an extended period of time, we decided to take action, take a vote, and move on.”
Murante got only 26 votes on his cloture motion, far short of the 33 needed to end debate and go to a vote on the measure.
Opponents used a parliamentary maneuver to take the floor before Murante even got a chance to open on his measure. The main objection to the voter identification requirement is the allegation that it would suppress voting among minorities.
Murante strongly objected to that line of argument.
“I believe that we can demonstrate that elections can be administered showing photo identification without suppressing anyone who’s legally entitled to vote,” Murante said. “The onus is on me to come up with the evidence to convince my colleagues that that is the case.”
Murante said he plans to tour the state, speaking to Nebraskans and election authorities on the issue. He said he has worked to do to create a bill which could pass the legislature.
Another criticism voiced during the brief legislative floor debate on the issue was that Murante sought to solve a problem which simply doesn’t exist in Nebraska.
“We know voter fraud does exist,” Murante responded when asked by reporters about the charge. “We have a case this year in Dawson County where fraud is being prosecuted. And I believe that there is no such thing as an insignificant amount of voter fraud.”
Two men face felony charges in Dawson County, accused of voting a number of times during the November election.