The issue of voter fraud will get a closer look from the Unicameral’s Government, Military, and Veterans Affairs Committee Thursday.
The focus is on the extent of voter fraud in the state, how to detect it, and preventing it.
State Senator John Murante says it is a big concern.
“Right now, we simply are spending little or no time identifying voter fraud,” Murante tells Nebraska Radio Network.
He says when voter fraud is identified, offenders are almost never prosecuted.
“Voting is extremely important and we should all be committed to ensuring that not a single illegal vote is cast in the State of Nebraska,” he says.
There were two convictions for voter fraud in Nebraska this year, according to Murante.
Even with that small number, he says more work needs to be done detecting and preventing the problem.
“I think even for folks who don’t believe voter fraud is prevalent,” Murante says, “I would say we’ll probably still hear ideas and we can work together on ways to tighten up our system.”
The committee also will look into off-year elections. Omaha and Lincoln city elections fall into this category.
Murante says they wants to know if moving those in line with state and federal elections is a better idea.
“It will save a tremendous amount of money,” he explains, “but we’d be looking on savings of upwards of $500,000 plus, a year to not have the special, off-year elections.”
Election commissioners have been invited to testify, and voter knowledge of local candidates and voter turnout also will be discussed.
Murante expects several ideas to come out of the hearing and be offered as bills during next year’s legislative session.
AUDIO: Mike Loizzo reports [:34]