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Nebraska voting advocate groups worry about Voter ID initiative

Posted at 10:15 PM, Feb 21, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-21 23:16:46-05

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — Voting advocates groups are sharing their concerns about a ballot initiative to change Nebraska's constitution to require an ID when voting.

More than once, politicians have tried using the unicameral to make voter ID law, but have come up short. Now they’re trying a new approach, getting a constitutional amendment on the ballot.

Voting advocates say it's unnecessary and could restrict voters.

On Monday, speakers from Civic Nebraska, Black Votes Matter, the League of Women Voters of Greater Omaha, the Nebraska NAACP and the Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance of Metropolitan Omaha hosted an educational session at UNO.

The groups discussed their concerns with the petition, saying the language was vague and implementing voter ID could cost the state and voters money.

They say voter ID would impact the elderly, students, those with disabilities and others who may not have an ID.

"Bottom line, we have the right to vote. Without hindrance or impediment to exercise that right to vote," said Heather Engdahl with Civic Nebraska. "We know that many voters may lack ID for many different reasons. This policy would infringe on their right to vote.”

Senator Julie Slama told 3NewsNow when the ballot imitative was introduced that voter ID could reduce voter fraud.

"I think it’s a reasonable, solid measure to secure our elections," Slama said.

But advocates say voter fraud has not been proven.

"We’ve got more examples of people who will be restricted than they do of people where there’s fraud," said Preston Love Jr. with Black Votes Matter.

The petition has until July to collect 10% of Nebraska voter signatures, and 5% of voters from at least 38 counties.

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