Another senator calls it voter suppression.
Government, Military and Veterans Affairs Committee chair, Sen. John Murante of Gretna, says the state constitution is clear on the redistricting of political subdivisions. It states Nebraska should use the numbers provided by the United States Census Bureau, excluding non-citizens.
Murante contends Nebraska has ignored the provision.
“Are we going to follow the constitution or are we going to ignore it?” Murante asks in a Capitol news conference. “In my view, it is irresponsible and unacceptable to simply ignore a provision of the constitution. It’s something we need to do.”
Murante says he is proposing a measure which would conform state policy with the provisions in the state constitution. Murante says the legislature has used figures from the Census Bureau which included non-citizens in the past. He claims it has had an impact in Douglas County more than other regions in the state.
But Sen. Justin Wayne of Omaha questions the motivation.
“This is just part of a, to me, a bigger, overall right-wing scheme to alienate people and continue with voter suppression,” Wayne tells Nebraska Radio Network.
Wayne says Murante’s assertions are inconsistent with the provisions in the state constitution. Wayne says he has seen no data indicating there has been a problem with Nebraska’s redistricting process.
AUDIO: Brent Martin reports [:45]