Nebraska Democratic Party Chair Jane Kleeb assailed two GOP measures attacking Nebraska’s system that were heard Wednesday by the Legislature’s Government, Military and Veterans Affairs Committee.
As reported by the Omaha World-Herald, state Sen. Julie Slama has introduced bills requiring voters to show ID in order to cast a ballot and another measure to change the way Nebraska allocates its five Electoral College votes — a unique system that gives a voice to representative government.
“The measures being pushed by Sen. Slama and Gov. Ricketts are blatant Republican attacks on a fair and representative Democracy,” Chair Kleeb said. “The bills are aimed at disenfranchising voters, plain and simple. Year after year, Republicans turn to a predictable playbook that aims to keep their one-party stranglehold across the state rather than expand voting rights and ballot access.”
The fist measure addressed was LB76, which would change Neberaska’s Electoral Vote system to winner-take-all.
A diversity of non-partisan voices made it clear the bill should be rejected.
The ACLU’s Danielle Conrad noted that similar measures have been defeated 16 times in the Legislature.
“Nebraskans deserve to be able to cast meaningful votes. Just as we chart our own course in the Unicameral, we have the right as a state … to chart our own course” with our Electoral Vote system. “The voters that we talk to are very excited about the way Nebraska casts its Electoral Votes,” former Sen. Conrad said.
Former Sen. Al Davis testified that “the winner-takes-all system disenfranchises voters.”
Nebraska’s system “should be a model for the nation,” Davis said. “We have a good system, let’s just leave it alone.”
Preston Love, Jr., a longtime community activist in North Omaha who ran as a Democratic write-in candidate last year for U.S. Senate, also testified.
“I challenge the state of Nebraska to recognize that by suppressing and initiating these mechanisms, to suppress the votes of many, and in particular, people of color, you are assaulting Democracy in the state of Nebraska,” Love said about both measures.
Sen. Megan Hunt, a member of the committee, expresses skepticism on the Voter ID measure.
“How can you guarantee one voter will not be disenfranchised? she said. “It’s going to be a nightmare.”
Karen Bell-Dancy executive director of the Lincoln YWCA, said: “Proponents of voter ID laws … fail to produce any evidence of widespread voter fraud,” she said. “This proposal in a solution in search of a problem.”