As lawmakers prepare to a debate a measure to require voters to show some sort of identification before casting ballots, Fremont Sen. Charlie Janssen says he has amended the bill to make it less onerous to opponents. “This is much ado about nothing,” Janssen said before dozens of opponents gathered Wednesday in the Rotunda to assail the measure. And they begged to differ with his “much ado” characterization.
“I didn’t know the Unicameral was now in the business of working on problems that don’t exist,” said Jane Kleeb of the advocacy group Bold Nebraska. “Each time Senator Janssen waters his bill down and adds confusing exceptions for certain groups of Nebraskans, it brings to light the simple fact that this bill is unnecessary and a waste of taxpayer dollars.”
Janssen’s proposal was introduced last year and originally would have required people to show ID when they vote as a way to head off voter fraud and ensure Nebraska uses what he calls the “best practices” when holding elections. But opponents of the measure (LB239) said that would disenfranchise some voters — particularly the poor, the elderly and minorities — who do not have driver’s licenses, because they would have to pay $26.50 to get state-issued photo IDs. They said requiring people to buy a state ID in order to vote would amount to an illegal poll tax.
Full Article: Opponents say voter ID bill unneeded, costly.