A paperwork mix-up has a recall election on hold in Aurora, while they sort out the legal timeline to hold an election. When the vote does happen, Hamilton County may join a growing list of counties sending all ballots in the mail. County Clerk Jill DeMers said they’ve had problems finding folks to work at polling places. “Especially with the late harvest this year, there was one polling place I had one lady working. I made multiple calls and I did end up with three poll workers and one that could work part-time,” DeMers said. Hamilton County could neighbors to the north in Merrick County, by going to all-mail elections. “It’s a lot easier, a lot less stressful,” said Merrick County Clerk Marcia Wichmann.Full Article: Several Nebraska counties planning switch to all-mail elections | KHGI.
Articles about voting issues in Nebraska.
When the federal government offered money to help states buy new vote-counting machines in 2002, Nebraska officials jumped at the chance. Nebraska used its share of the funding to create a statewide election system with new equipment for all 93 counties — including some remote, low-income areas that still hand-counted their ballots. Now, with machines that are outdated and increasingly difficult to repair, Nebraska lawmakers are largely on their own. “There’s no question it’s going to be a very challenging legislative session in terms of appropriations,” Secretary of State John Gale said in an interview.Full Article: Nebraska's outdated voting machines spark election worries | Nebraska News | journalstar.com.
More Nebraska county election officials are seeking state permission to conduct elections exclusively by mail as turnout figures rise. Garden County was the first in Nebraska to conduct a countywide all-mail election after receiving approval to pilot the project from the Secretary of State this year, the Lincoln Journal Star reported . Nebraska counties with populations of 10,000 people or fewer have had the option since 2009 to hold all-mail elections, if given state approval. More than 58 percent of Garden County voters cast a ballot in the May 15 primary election, compared to statewide voter turnout of about 24 percent.Full Article: Nebraska Counties Seek to Pilot Elections Entirely by Mail | Nebraska News | US News.
Another year, another frustration for backers of requiring voter identification in Nebraska. State lawmakers on Thursday fell short of cutting off debate and advancing a proposed voter ID constitutional amendment. The vote marks the eighth year in a row that voter ID legislation has been blocked. State Sen. John Murante of Gretna, who introduced Legislative Resolution 1CA, said he is exploring the possibility of going directly to voters via an initiative petition drive. “This is not the end of the discussion,” he said. “There will come a day when the issue is taken out of the hands of legislators.” A second Murante proposal, which some dubbed “voter ID lite,” cleared first-round consideration later on Thursday after all of the voter identification provisions were stripped out.Full Article: For eighth year, voter ID amendment defeated in Legislature | Legislature | omaha.com.
Nebraska: Bill that would subtract noncitizens in redistricting count raises constitutional questions | Lincoln Journal Star
The new plan for drawing election boundaries looks a lot like the original plan settled on during a 1920 Nebraska Constitutional Convention, Sen. John Murante told the Government, Military and Veterans Affairs Committee on Tuesday. The problem is the old plan requiring the state to count “the population excluding aliens,” or noncitizens, for the purposes of setting legislative district boundaries had been forgotten — or ignored — by the Legislature in recent memory. Murante’s solution (LB1115) hearkened back to Article III, Section 5 of the Nebraska Constitution. It removes the estimated number of non-U.S. citizens living in the state, according to the Census Bureau, from being counted for redistricting purposes.Full Article: Bill that would subtract noncitizens in redistricting count raises constitutional questions | Nebraska Legislature | journalstar.com.
A federal voter registration form incorrectly instructs potential voters that no felons can vote in Nebraska. But, under state law, voting rights are automatically restored two years after felons complete their sentences. The Nebraska Legislature changed the law in 2005. The inaccurate instructions on the National Voter Registration Form were pointed out by the nonpartisan voter advocacy group Campaign Legal Center in a letter to Nebraska Secretary of State John Gale last month.Full Article: Federal form gives incorrect info on felon voting rights in Nebraska | Nebraska | omaha.com.
Sen. John Murante told the Legislature’s Government, Military and Veterans Affairs Committee on Thursday that a plan requiring Nebraskans to show identification before they vote would not exclude any legally entitled voters from casting a ballot. As part of Murante’s latest proposal (LB1066) to secure the state’s elections, as he put it, Nebraskans would also be entitled to receive a free government ID they could show to poll workers. LB1066 would work toward two goals Murante, of Gretna, said he wants to see accomplished in the state: preventing illegal votes from being cast while not turning anyone away from the polls who is eligible to vote.Full Article: Voter ID opponents say measure would do more harm than good | Nebraska Legislature | journalstar.com.
Nebraska: While Voter ID Law is Pushed in Legislature, County Election Officials Say Voter Fraud is Not an Issue | NCN
While state lawmakers argue over the need for photo ID’s to stop allegations of vote fraud, folks we talked with want to know more. “I haven’t really heard much about it,” says Nebraska resident Justice Chwebach. “I have not heard it (voter fraud) before since you brought it up,” says Nebraska resident Theresa Veit. Ten county election commissioners interviewed by News Channel Nebraska say that in their combined 150-plus years on the job, showing a photo ID at the ballot box would not have prevented voter fraud, not once.Full Article: While Voter ID Law is Pushed in Legislature, County Election Officials Say Voter Fraud is Not an Issue | Beatrice News Channel.
Promising a “basket of options” for lawmakers to consider, Sen. John Murante on Wednesday introduced a trio of bills he said ensure future integrity in Nebraska’s elections without suppressing votes. As he promised in December, Murante once again introduced a voter ID bill (LB1066) that would require voters to present a current form of identification before they could vote. According to the bill, appropriate forms of ID include driver’s licenses, state, college or university-issued ID cards, passports or military IDs — which 97 percent of Nebraskans already carry, Murante said. Voters could apply to the Secretary of State’s office for a free photo ID that would comply with the state law, which would come at some cost to the state’s general fund, Murante said, particularly during a budget squeeze.Full Article: Voter ID, electronic poll books, alien verification all proposed in Nebraska | Nebraska Legislature | journalstar.com.
Nebraska: Not giving up on voter ID push, Senator plans to introduce new legislation | Omaha World Herald
A Gretna state senator is not giving up on bringing voter identification to Nebraska. Days after an opponent of voter ID visited Omaha, Sen. John Murante called a press conference Tuesday to say he plans to introduce a package of legislation with more than one option for enacting voter ID in the state. The details are still being worked out, and the senator did not offer specifics. “I am confident that these options will preserve the integrity of our elections without turning a single lawful voter away from the polls,” Murante said.Full Article: Not giving up on voter ID push, State Sen. Murante plans to introduce new legislation | Legislature | omaha.com.
Nebraska: Voting rights activist says Nebraskans should ‘fight like crazy’ against voter ID laws | Omaha World Herald
Nebraska is a rare conservative-leaning state without a voter ID law, a voting rights activist said in Omaha on Thursday, and he suggested that Nebraskans work to keep it that way. Jason Kander of Let America Vote and a former Missouri secretary of state spoke at an event for the nonprofit Nebraskans for Civic Reform, which is run by State Sen. Adam Morfeld of Lincoln. Kander told the gathering at Love’s Jazz and Art Center that his goal is to make sure there are political consequences for politicians who pass voter ID and similar laws.Full Article: Voting rights activist says Nebraskans should 'fight like crazy' against voter ID laws | Legislature | omaha.com.
When Douglas County Election Commissioner Brian Kruse tells election officials from other states how votes are counted in Nebraska’s largest county, the responses vary. “Oh, that’s painful,” is one response. “How long did you work?” is another. “We like to say, ‘Well, 26 hours, but we loved every minute of it,’” Kruse told members of the Nebraska Legislature’s Government, Military and Veterans Affairs Committee during a hearing Thursday. In Douglas County, all of the ballots are brought to a central location and tallied. Kruse compared that with Birmingham, Alabama, where votes on election night are tallied at the precincts and results are reported in about four hours.Full Article: Election technology in Nebraska is ‘extremely behind,’ senator says | Legislature | omaha.com.
A Nebraska lawmaker is concerned about the practice of ballot collection by third parties. Volunteers have been stationed outside Millard Public Schools in Omaha to collect completed mail-in ballots for the levy override election ending Nov. 14. The vote involves an extra 9-cent property tax levy authority for the school board, the Omaha World-Herald reported. Volunteer organizers said the effort is aimed at boosting turnout. They said they collect and turn in anyone’s ballot regardless of the person’s opinion on the override. Organizers said the effort is a matter of convenience in a time when people are less likely to possess stamps.Full Article: Nebraska Lawmaker Speaks Out on Volunteer Ballot Collectors | Nebraska News | US News.
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.Full Article: Don Walton: A look at redistricting in Nebraska | Nebraska Legislature | journalstar.com.
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.Full Article: Gale says he's against creating federal voter registration database, spells out conditions for release of voter data | Omaha Metro | omaha.com.
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.”Full Article: Senators urge Gale to decline Trump's voter information request | Nebraska Legislature | journalstar.com.
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.Full Article: Groups urge Nebraska secretary of state to reject Trump commission's request for voter data | Nebraska | omaha.com.
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.”Full Article: Nebraska lawmakers kill voter ID amendment proposal | The Herald.
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.Full Article: Nebraska Legislature votes to kill voter ID resolution, but sponsor says he isn't giving up | Legislature | omaha.com.
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.Full Article: Ricketts gets victory as lawmakers fail to override veto on felons' voting rights bill | Legislature | omaha.com.