Legislation incorporates concerns from nonpartisan voting rights group
LINCOLN, NE — Today, in a 38-1 vote, the Nebraska unicameral passed LB514, legislation that details acceptable forms of ID voters must present in order to vote.
After Nebraskans passed a ballot measure requiring voter ID in 2022, Common Cause Nebraska called on the unicameral to implement sensible requirements to avoid some of the barriers these laws impose on voters. The legislation incorporates some of the voting rights organization’s concerns about the dangers of voter ID and the harms it poses to Nebraska voters.
Key provisions of the bill include:
- Accepting student and tribal IDs, as well as nursing home and assisted care facility records.
- Also accepting Nebraska driver’s licenses/IDs, as well as US passports and military IDs
- Allowing expired documents as long as they meet the criteria of a qualifying ID
- Free IDs and birth records for individuals who need them to vote
- Provisional voting on election day for those without ID
- Alternative methods of proving identity for those whose disabilities, religious convictions, and/or lack of documentation prevent them from acquiring ID
“We believe in respecting the will of the voters, which is why despite our opposition to voter ID laws, we worked hard to make sure this law imposed the least amount of harm to Nebraska voters,” said Gavin Geis, Common Cause Nebraska’s executive director. “Today’s passage of LB514 showcases a compromise that makes sure the voters were heard, progress was made, and resulted in a final bill that is better than what we started with. We look forward to working with the state to ensure there is a robust voter education campaign ahead of the 2024 election.”
“Young voters still in college have every right to make their voice heard at the ballot box. Too often, many voters are sidelined because they lack a driver’s license or other form of ID. That’s why we commend the Nebraska unicameral for integrating student IDs as an acceptable document into LB514,” said Alyssa Canty, Common Cause national youth programs director.
Once signed, the bill is expected to take effect with elections starting April 1, 2024.