An example from another state which implemented voter photo ID is being used to calm concerns about a bill that would require it here.
Those pushing to require Nebraska voters display photo identification at the polls bring in Missouri Secretary of State Republican Jay Ashcroft who claims voter photo ID not only didn’t keep voters away, but increased voter turnout.
“We actually increased voter access,” Ashcroft tells Nebraska Radio Network. “As long as you’re registered to vote, for the first time in Missouri history, we can assure people, if you’re registered, you can vote.”
Missouri began requiring voters display photo identification in June of last year. Ashcroft says the Missouri General Assembly allocated $1.5 million to run a campaign raising awareness of the new requirement as well as to provide those without proper ID the identification they need. He says the state has held 80 elections under the new requirement without a hitch and has provided just under 500 identification cards to those who requested them.
Spencer Danner, the Democrat running for Nebraska Secretary of State, agrees it is necessary to secure elections, but he believes LB 1066 goes in the wrong direction. Instead of requiring voters produce photo identification, Nebraska should be encouraging more residents who are eligible to register.
“We have 25%, 25% of our entire voter electorate, are eligible to vote, but not registered,” Danner tells Nebraska Radio Network. “That’s where we need to be looking at.”
Danner adds that the more individuals we get to register to vote, the better the system will become.
Danner also suggests more time and money should be spent on upgrading the current Nebraska election system.
LB 1066 is being heard in the Government, Military and Veterans Affairs Committee. It is sponsored by the committee chair, Sen. John Murante of Gretna, who also sponsors LB 1064, which would require election officials to purge voter registration rolls of deceased individuals and require the Secretary of State to check the citizenship of those registered to vote.
AUDIO: Brent Martin reports [:50]