Answering 6 Important Questions about Nebraska’s New Voter ID Law
In 2022, Nebraska voters passed a ballot measure that placed voter ID requirements in the state constitution. The amendment gave the unicameral authority to specify the rules for providing ID to vote. As a result, the legislature passed LB514 during the 2023 legislative session, which specifies how Nebraskans present ID before voting.
Starting in April 2024, Nebraska voters will be required to present valid photo identification before casting a ballot in any election, whether in-person or by mail. To aid Nebraskans in navigating the new Voter ID rules we answered six important questions about the new law.
What ID(s) can I use to vote?
The law allows for a wide range of IDs and documents to be used for voting. Any document from the sources below that includes (1) the name of the voter and (2) a photo or image of the voter can be used to vote in Nebraska.
Qualifying IDs include documents issued by:
- The United States
- The state of Nebraska
- An agency or a political subdivision of the state of Nebraska
- A postsecondary institution within the State of Nebraska
- The U.S. Dept. of Defense
- The U.S. Dept. of Veterans Affairs or the Veterans Administration
- A branch of the uniformed services
- A Native American tribe or band recognized by the U.S. government
- A hospital, assisted living facility, nursing home, or other skilled care facility
What if I can’t afford an ID card?
Every Nebraskan can receive a free state ID card if they (1) do not have a valid Nebraska driver’s license, (2) are requesting ID for voting purposes, and (3) are 18 years of age (or are 17 but will be 18 by the next election).
Nebraska birth records will also be provided free of charge for those seeking ID to vote.
How do I provide ID if I’m voting by mail?
Those voting by mail are required to provide proof of identity by either (1) writing the ID Number from their Nebraska state ID or driver’s license on their vote-by-mail application in the appropriate space or (2) including a photocopy of their ID document with their vote-by-mail application.
What if I don’t have my ID on Election Day?
Nebraskans will still be allowed to vote provisionally on Election Day without providing an ID. If you forget your ID or don’t currently have one, you can still cast a provisional ballot at your polling place.
To have your provisional vote counted you are required to:
- Sign a certification at the polling place stating you are the voter and have not voted elsewhere.
- Provide ID at your local election office on or before the Tuesday following the election.
To ensure no one votes twice, prior to counting the provisional ballot County Election officials will verify the voter has not cast a ballot at another precinct.
What if something is preventing me from obtaining a qualifying ID?
The law allows voters with “reasonable impediments” to complete an alternative certification that can be used in place of an ID for voting purposes. “Reasonable impediments” are defined as:
- A disability or Illness that has prevented the voter from obtaining ID
- A lack of required documents for obtaining an ID (includes out-of-state birth certificates and other documents the voter cannot obtain without undue hardship)
- A religious objection to being photographed
If you believe you qualify for one of these exceptions, you must complete a Reasonable Impediment certificate on election day. This certificate will be used in place of an ID on Election Day or, for those voting by mail, a copy should be included with your ballot in the ballot envelope.
Election officials will verify that the Reasonable Impediment certificate is signed and will check this signature against the signature on your voter registration to ensure they match.
Those with religious objections can also have a notation placed on the voter roll excluding them from the ID requirement by contacting their county election office no later than 6 p.m. on the second Friday preceding the election.
How can I learn more about the new requirements?
The Secretary of State is responsible for carrying out a public education campaign regarding the new ID rules. That includes public engagement through multiple mediums and in-person events, a website that explains the ID requirements, as well as providing informational materials to other NE state agencies and departments for distribution to the public.
We expect these efforts to ramp up in the latter half of 2023 and carry through 2024 to ensure Nebraskans are prepared to vote in the upcoming presidential election.