A huge win came from the Cornhusker State yesterday. Nebraska's unicameral legislature, in a bipartisan move, defeated a photo ID bill that's hit the floor four years in a row. Thanks to the longstanding efforts of a strong coalition - including Common Cause Nebraska - the state has quashed legislation that could have denied 112,000 Nebraskans who don't have access to the prescriptive ID from exercising their right to vote.
"Our legislators have bucked the trend," said Nebraska Common Cause Executive Director Gavin Geis. "Thanks to strong ties between advocates and legislators who put democracy above partisan politics, Nebraskans can rest assured that their right to vote remains secure."
LB 111 would have required individuals to present government-issued photo ID in order to vote, but 11 Republicans crossed the aisle to join with 14 Democrats in a move to shelve the bill. Sen. Adam Morfeld, who led the opposition, attributed its defeat to the state legislature's unicameral nature. States the country over should take a cue from this cameraderie. In the past couple years alone, since the Supreme Court struck down a key provision of the Voting Rights Act regarding certain states' and jurisdictions' (excluding NE) requirement to "preclear" voting changes, a slew have adopted - or tried to - photo ID laws. Even though our elections have been proven safe. And even though we know that those who lack such IDs are the very ones whom bill drafters seek to keep out of the political process.
Here's to Nebraska for bucking the trend. Legislating does not need to be "politics as usual" - and they just proved it.