A measure which would have placed a voter photo identification measure on the ballot this November has failed to overcome a filibuster and is dead for the session.
Sen. John Murante of Gretna told colleagues Thursday that opponents of his measure have spread lies about it.
“What I find most interesting is that the opponents of voter identification laws almost always imply or say directly that there is some sort of race-based motivation about this,” Murante told colleagues during legislative debate. “It’s nonsense, of course, and they know it’s nonsense.”
Murante sponsors Legislative Resolution 1, a Constitutional Amendment (LR 1CA) which if approved by the Unicameral would be placed on the November ballot to ultimately be decided by the voters.
Murante said he is confident if it got to the ballot it would pass overwhelmingly.
Sen. Patty Pansing Brooks of Lincoln contended requiring photo identification to cast a ballot is aimed at suppressing certain voters.
“Sen. Murante talked about having fair, free, and open elections,” Pansing Brooks told colleagues. “What this is is racist, costly, and closed elections. That’s what this plan is.”
Another opponent, Sen. Adam Morfeld of Lincoln, accused supporters of spreading lies about voter fraud.
“That is why these laws are so popular among some segments in our community and in our democracy is because elected officials in positions of power like Sen. Murante and other folks across the country create and spread lies about there being voter impersonation,” according to Morfeld.
Sen. Murante could have forced the debate to extend for at least three hours, but decided to move to a cloture vote just under an hour into the debate, conceding defeat.
“And once again those who stated from the outset that their sole intention was to obstruct the ability of the people of Nebraska to have a vote on this will likely win,” Murante stated when he called for a cloture vote.
Murante needed 33 votes to end the filibuster and go to a vote on his resolution. He got 24. The cloture vote was 24-18-4.