Nebraska Secretary of State John Gale thinks he has a less expensive, less intrusive “Nebraska” solution to the politically charged issue of requiring voters to present identification before casting a ballot. But it was hard to find anyone who liked his compromise plan on Wednesday. Gale said he plans to seek legislation that will require only a portion of registered voters — about 75,000 — to present ID before voting. Everyone else, about 94 percent of the 1.2 million registered voters in Nebraska, would not have to present ID. The secretary of state said his “voter integrity” proposal resolves his concerns about previous voter ID legislation, which he felt would cost too much money to implement and would place a burden on too many people.
He said his plan would target a segment of registered voters most susceptible to impersonation. Those are voters who have informed the post office of a move from a county but have failed to confirm that with election officials. “This is a Nebraska answer to the issue of voter integrity,” Gale said.
But his plan got an immediate thumbs down from both the sponsor and opponents of a more comprehensive voter ID bill pending before the Nebraska Legislature.
State Sen. Charlie Janssen of Fremont, who introduced Legislative Bill 381, said that he’s glad that Gale has “finally come to the party” but that his proposal doesn’t go far enough in warding off voter fraud. “This sounds like selective enforcement,” Janssen said. “Given my druthers, I’d rather have the ‘Nebraska way’ be that everyone shows their ID.”