A bill that would allow ex-felons to vote without a two-year wait after their sentences are complete won approval from state senators Monday, but not by a lot. It will now move to Gov. Pete Ricketts’ desk for his signature. The Legislature voted 27-13 on final reading, not enough for a 30-vote veto override if one comes. The bill (LB75) came out of the Government, Military and Veterans Affairs Committee on a 5-1 vote, but was questioned by committee Chairman John Murante.
Articles about voting issues in Nebraska.
Nebraska: Bill to make Nebraska’s Electoral College votes winner-take-all is headed to Legislature floor | Omaha World-Herald
Nebraska lawmakers may soon debate a familiar effort to return the state to a winner-take-all system for awarding presidential electors. The Legislature’s Government, Military and Veterans Affairs Committee voted Tuesday to advance Legislative Bill 25 to the floor. State Sen. John Murante of Gretna, the bill’s sponsor, said he will attempt to attach the proposal to another bill so it can still be debated in the waning weeks of the legislative session. Republican members of the officially nonpartisan Legislature have tried repeatedly to end Nebraska’s system of splitting its three Electoral College votes based upon the winner in each congressional district. Votes on the issue have largely fallen along party lines, with primarily Democrats voting against.
Nebraska: Resolution to require voter ID at Nebraska’s polls advances but is expected to stir debate among lawmakers | Omaha World-Herald
A skirmish over voter identification flared Thursday in the Nebraska Legislature, portending the battle that’s about to come. The Government, Military and Veterans Affairs Committee voted 6-2 to advance to the floor Legislative Resolution 1CA, which asks Nebraskans whether they want to put a photo ID requirement in the state constitution. If adopted by the full Legislature, ballot language on the constitutional amendment would appear before voters in November 2018. If voters approve the amendment it will be left to state lawmakers to pass legislation spelling out what constitutes an acceptable ID and whether the state will pay for IDs for those who cannot afford them.
A proposed constitutional amendment that would set the stage for voter photo ID requirements in Nebraska was dispatched Thursday to the floor of the Legislature where it will trigger a certain filibuster. Sen. John Murante of Gretna, sponsor of the proposal (LR1CA), said he’s not sure whether he can muster the 33 votes required to break a filibuster. “I think it will be close,” he said moments after the measure cleared the Government, Military and Affairs Committee.
Nebraska lawmakers gave initial approval Friday to a bill that would allow people convicted of felonies to vote when they complete their prison sentences and any parole or probation. Senators voted 28-8 to eliminate the state’s two-year waiting period, which Sen. Justin Wayne of Omaha says continues to disenfranchise Nebraska residents who are racial minorities. People of color made up about 15 percent of the state’s population in the most recent census and nearly half of its prisoners. “This disenfranchisement law is at best profoundly outdated,” Wayne said. “At worst, it’s discrimination against minority voters.” The bill would affect about 7,800 felons in Nebraska.
Nebraska lawmakers are considering a measure this session to help felons re-enter society after prison. A legislative committee has advanced a bill that would restore voting rights to felons as soon as they complete their sentence, including prison time and parole. … Now, a bill prioritized by senator Justin Wayne of Omaha would restore voting rights to felons as soon as they complete their sentence, including prison time and parole. “People don’t get surprised and think ‘oh no, I lost my voting rights’. they know they were committing a felony, and they know there is penalties for committing a felony” Sheriff Kramer said.
Nebraska Secretary of State John Gale announced Monday that he will not seek re-election in 2018, ending a career that focused on expanding voter participation and upgrading election equipment. Gale has served as the state’s top elections official since 2000, when he was appointed by then-Gov. Mike Johanns. His decision sets the stage for a potentially competitive race to replace him. “Being Secretary of State has been one of the most fulfilling, exciting and memorable experiences of my career,” Gale said in a statement. “I feel very lucky to have been able to offer my public service as a constitutional officer to Nebraska and its citizens.”
Sens. John Murante of Gretna and Adam Morfeld of Lincoln sparred good-naturedly Thursday over the need for voter identification requirements in Nebraska. At issue was Morfeld’s proposed constitutional amendment (LR15CA) to prohibit voter ID mandates, a proposal that he acknowledged was offered in direct response to Murante’s proposal for a constitutional amendment that would clear the path for voter photo ID requirements in Nebraska. Either proposal would be submitted for voter approval in 2018 if it clears the Legislature with at least 30 votes.
Lawmakers need to look seriously at replacing Nebraska’s election equipment even though it could cost the state $20 million to $30 million, a leading senator said Wednesday. Sen. John Murante of Gretna said the current equipment is on pace to fail and create major headaches for counties, which are responsible for administering elections. “We simply cannot do nothing,” said Murante, the chairman of the Government, Military and Veterans Affairs Committee. “That is not an option.” His comments during a legislative hearing drew support from Secretary of State John Gale, who said the state should continue covering the cost rather than counties.
Nebraska: Election, DMV officials testify against bill that would make voter registration automatic | Omaha World Herald
A measure to implement automatic voter registration in Nebraska faced opposition Thursday from the state’s chief election official and head of the Nebraska Department of Motor Vehicles. Allowing automatic voter registration would flood the voter registration system with people who are ineligible or already registered, said Colleen Byelick, general counsel and chief deputy for the Secretary of State’s Office. DMV Director Rhonda Lahm argued that not everyone who qualifies for a driver’s license or state ID card is eligible to vote, including people under 18 and those who are not U.S. citizens.