Only about half of Nebraska’s 93 counties accurately provide voting rights for ex-felons, according to a survey by the ACLU of Nebraska. Nearly half of the county election officials contacted by ACLU researchers provided inaccurate information related to voting rights for people with felony convictions, the organization said. State law allows a convicted felon to register to vote two years after completing all of the terms of a sentence, which include parole and probation. “Voting is the cornerstone of our democracy and the fundamental right upon which all our civil liberties rest,” ACLU of Nebraska Executive Director Danielle Conrad said in a news release Monday. “Nebraskans that have completed their sentences have a right to participate in our democracy.” The Legislature restored the voting rights for people with felony convictions more than 10 years ago, she said. “But sadly today a significant amount of confusion still exists. These survey results are a call to action.”
Public education efforts about ex-felon voting rights should be strengthened, and training opportunities for county officials provided to ensure no eligible voter is turned away, Conrad said.
The ACLU conducted the survey with volunteers who contacted each county asking, “Can a former felon register to vote?”
Lancaster and Douglas counties both gave accurate information, but 47 of the state’s 93 counties did not. More counties initially provided wrong information but followed up with correct information, the organization said.