A state senator will again push for voter photo identification as well as other measures to ensure voter security.
Sen. John Murante of Gretna, chair of the Government, Military and Veteran Affairs Committee, says 97% of Nebraskans already have qualifying identification.
“To those Nebraskans who do not have qualifying identification under this bill, the state of Nebraska will provide identification for them for free, ensuring that not a single person who does not have identification is turned away from the polls,” Murante tells reporters during a news conference at the Capitol.
Murante also sponsors two other bills which would require that voter registration rolls be compared with information kept by the Nebraska Department of Motor Vehicles as well as Homeland Security to ensure those on the rolls are eligible to vote.
But, it’s the bill that would require voters to display photographic identification to cast a ballot which has attracted the most attention as well as the most criticism.
Murante rejects suggestions such a requirement would suppress some voters, such as the elderly and minorities.
“I would say the data does not support the contention,” Murante replies. “We now see 36 states, 35-plus states, have passed some form of voter identification laws and in those states we see not only that voter turnout has increased after voter identification laws are enacted, but we also see that voter identification laws do not become unpopular.”
Murante calls his approach a common-sense measure which addresses concerns about the integrity of elections expressed by both Republicans and Democrats.
Murante says there have been mixed reviews and very little evidence to suggest properly crafted voter identification laws suppress voter turnout. Murante concedes there have been poorly crafted voter identification legislation. He insists his bill avoids problems which have arisen from such shoddy legislation.
“I believe we can enact voter identification laws which do not turn people away from the polls,” according to Murante. “I believe we’ve accomplished that.”