7 things to know about Initiative 432

Politicians want to rewrite the Nebraska Constitution to add strict photo ID requirements in order to vote. This would severely restrict *all* voters via lengthy, repetitive steps and employ new technicalities to disqualify eligible voters from rightfully casting a ballot.

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1. All voter ID laws are not created equal.

Proponents of Initiative 432 suggest that Everyone else is doing it, why not Nebraska? This is an oversimplification: In states with voter ID laws, requirements vary widely (above). If Initiative 432 passes, Nebraska would join the very strictest of states when it comes to ID requirements. Initiative 432 is too extreme for our state.

2. Our elections are safe and secure now

Proponents admit Nebraska has zero problems with voter impersonation. However, they present Nebraskans with a false choice: Do you want elections that are safe and secure, or do you want elections that are rife with unseen, undetectable, mass cheating? This distortion is designed to strong-arm voters into supporting an unsound and costly government mandate. In the past 50 years, Nebraskans have cast more than 25 million ballots in statewide elections, with zero evidence of voter impersonation. Nebraska’s elections already are a national model of integrity and efficiency.

3. It’s a waste of taxpayer money.

Initiative 432 will cost millions of taxpayer dollars in perpetuity. In 2018, a similar bill estimated costs of nearly $3 million in state funds in the first year of such a mandate, and nearly $1 million every year after that to maintain. That’s a hefty price tag to address a problem that doesn’t exist.

4. ‘Everyone has an ID’ is a myth.

The assumption is that everyone has a “valid ID,” but tens of thousands of Nebraskans don’t. We estimate at least 54,500 to 70,000 Nebraskans would be immediately affected. This number does not include residents who hold “current” IDs with outdated information, which are almost certain to be considered “invalid” under Initiative 432. Strict voter ID would have untold complications and consequences for many Nebraskans.

5. Voting is a right, not a transaction.

To make strict voter ID sound less radical, proponents compare needing an ID to buy alcohol, travel by airplane, or write a check at the store. Unlike voting, none of these are fundamental civil rights. Voting is not a consumer activity – it’s a Constitutional right for everyone.

6. It won’t make anyone feel better. 

Measures like Initiative 432 have little to no effect on improving views on election integrity. In 2020, accusations over results in Arizona, Georgia and other states persisted long after certification. Some of those states had strict ID requirements, but that didn’t keep bad actors from alleging that the elections were “fraudulent.” Strict voter ID will do nothing to improve our faith in elections, but it will make it harder for everyone to vote.

7. Voter ID is not a Nebraska value. 

Our state’s history has been one of defending voting rights, not restricting them. Nebraska entered the Union on a veto override over rights for non-whites to vote. Since then, Nebraskans of all parties and backgrounds have supported as few hindrances to the ballot as possible. We must not abandon this deeply Nebraskan value.

Related Articles

What? So What? Now What?: Voting rights restoration

In Nebraska, people previously convicted of a felony must wait an additional two years past the completion of their sentence – including probation and parole – to vote. It’s time for that to change.

Statement on Initiative 432

We are grateful to our partners and volunteers for educating voters on the costs, complications, and consequences of Initiative 432.

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