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Local response to Biden's push to expand voter access

Posted at 6:40 PM, Mar 08, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-08 19:45:42-05

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — On the 56th anniversary of Bloody Sunday, President Biden signed an executive order to expand voter access and registration. The order said government agencies should use existing resources and evaluate ways to promote voting.

"When people are interacting with the DMV, they have the opportunity to update voter registration and learn more about those processes. The same goes for public benefit programs like SNAP or childcare or Medicaid and this would be a great opportunity for Nebraska to take a hard, deep look and say 'Are we fully embracing every opportunity to collaborate with the federal government on implementing this law,'" executive director of ACLU Nebraska Danielle Conrad said.

Advocates say that while the state has done a pretty good job in protecting voter rights, there's always been room for improvement. One of those ways could be to make Election Day a holiday.

President Biden's order encourages government agencies to look at ways to expand the policy that grants employees time off to cast a ballot.

In the past, Governor Ricketts said he does not support making it a holiday. Others say it would do a lot in the push for equal voting rights.

"I feel like it should be a holiday, and again, this is a way to block the access to voting because they know if it’s a holiday, it’s larger turnout and it’s unfair. We have people blocking the rights many have fought hard for us to have...access to voting," Nebraska District 2 Elector Precious Mckesson said.

Advocates say 2020's record turnout for Election Day could become the norm with expanded voting access.