Congressional and legislative redistricting is in the spotlight as we move closer to the next round of reapportionment that will follow on the heels of the 2020 federal census. What could be a landmark challenge of a partisan legislative redistricting plan in Wisconsin is now before a divided U.S. Supreme Court. Early hints suggest Justice Anthony Kennedy may tip the court toward a breakthrough ruling striking down excessively partisan redistricting plans. That could be a game-changer, although the court faces a difficult challenge in determining and defining what might be considered to be excessive.
Articles about voting issues in Nebraska.
Nebraska: Gale says he’s against creating federal voter registration database, spells out conditions for release of voter data | Omaha World Herald
In a letter to a federal voting commission, Nebraska’s top election official said he’s opposed to the creation of a federal voter registration database. Secretary of State John Gale said access to a federal database of some kind, however, could help local and state election officials confirm death records, citizenship status and other statuses to maintain clean voter rolls. Gale sent the letter on Friday to Kris Kobach, vice chairman of the voting commission, to formally ask how the commission intends to use the voter data it requested.
Six state senators on Wednesday urged Secretary of State John Gale to decline to turn over personal data about registered Nebraska voters to the Trump administration. Nebraska needs to “protect the integrity of our elections and the security of our lawfully registered citizens,” they wrote Gale. “Public access to identifying information and partial Social Security numbers can lead to identity theft,” they said. “Protecting the personal and financial security of Nebraskans is important.”
Nebraska: Groups urge secretary of state to reject fraud commission’s request for voter data | Omaha World-Herald
A nonpartisan group that advocates on election issues is raising concerns about a federal commission’s request for voter information. Nebraskans for Civic Reform called into question the information that can be provided under Nebraska law and how the data might be used. The Lincoln-based group also questioned the role of a key member of President Donald Trump’s voting commission, which is tasked with investigating allegations of voter fraud. In a letter sent Monday, Nebraskans for Civic Reform and the ACLU of Nebraska urged Secretary of State John Gale to reject the commission’s request to “protect the integrity of our voting records and the personal privacy of countless Nebraska citizens.” Gale has not made a decision on the commission’s request, said spokeswoman Laura Strimple.
An effort to amend the Nebraska constitution to require voters to present photo IDs is dead for the year after supporters failed to end an expected filibuster. The measure’s sponsor, Sen. John Murante of Gretna, said he intends to travel Nebraska during the next eight months to gather statewide support. He’s not ruling out asking Nebraska residents to amend the constitution through a ballot initiative. He said voters overwhelmingly support voter ID requirements to restore faith in the election process. Murante also is considering a run for Nebraska secretary of state and said he intends to announce a decision within the next few weeks. “We have a problem with voter confidence in our country,” Murante said. “You don’t have to take my word for it. Look at the 2016 election.”
Nebraska: Legislature votes to kill voter ID resolution, but sponsor says he isn’t giving up | Omaha World Herald
A controversial voter identification measure died quickly Tuesday on the floor the Nebraska Legislature, but not before its sponsor vowed to start working on its resurrection. Lawmakers voted 25-17 in favor of a motion to end a filibuster, but that was well short of the 33 votes needed to overcome the delay tactic used by opponents of the voter ID resolution. State Sen. John Murante said he remains convinced that a strong majority of Nebraskans would support a law requiring voters to show photo ID before casting their ballots. He pledged to spend the next eight months working on a new bill or another proposed constitutional amendment to enact voter ID next year.
Nebraska: Ricketts gets victory as lawmakers fail to override veto on felons’ voting rights bill | Omaha World-Herald
Gov. Pete Ricketts flexed some political muscle Monday, easily winning a veto showdown over legislation that would have expanded felon voting rights in Nebraska. Legislators voted 23-23 on a motion to override Ricketts’ veto of Legislative Bill 75, which sought to eliminate the two years felons must wait to vote after completing their prison sentences. Overturning a veto requires the support of at least 30 of 49 senators in the single-house Legislature. The outcome provided a victory to the governor in a high-profile override attempt. In the previous two years senators have overridden his vetoes on measures related to the death penalty, the gas tax and two bills granting privileges to immigrants brought to the country illegally as children.
Nebraska: Politically charged bills, including winner-take-all, voter ID, await senators | Lincoln Journal Star
Political fireworks ahead in the Legislature. Sen. John Murante of Gretna said Wednesday he still intends to offer an amendment to pending legislation that would return Nebraska to a winner-take-all presidential electoral system, but he has not picked a legislative vehicle yet. Meanwhile, Murante’s proposed constitutional amendment (LR1CA) to require a photo ID for voters to participate in Nebraska elections is virtually assured of consideration during the final 15 days of this legislative session because he has identified it as his priority proposal.
Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts (R) on Friday vetoed a bipartisan measure that would have granted former felons the right to vote after they had completed their sentences. Supporters of the measure said it would help those who had served their time become members of society once again. In a letter to the Legislature, though, Ricketts said the measure would have circumvented the state constitution. “While the legislature may restore certain privileges, such as driving privileges, to convicted felons, the legislature may not circumvent the Nebraska Constitution to automatically restore a voting right in state law,” Ricketts wrote to legislators, adding that the bill “is attempting to create the equivalent of a legislative pardon.”
The governor is headed for a showdown with state lawmakers over felon voting rights. Gov. Pete Ricketts vetoed a measure Thursday that restores the voting rights of felons immediately after they complete their sentences. He maintained that the Legislature violated the Nebraska Constitution by assuming the power to pardon that properly belongs to the executive branch of government. “Any effort to restore a civil right revoked in the Nebraska Constitution requires changing the Nebraska Constitution,” the governor said in a message announcing his first veto of the session.