We’ve wrapped up the 2023 legislative session, and it was a doozy. The rejection of legislative norms, the introduction of contentious legislation, and a session-long filibuster together created the most combative session in recent legislative memory.
Fortunately, important progress was made for voting rights despite these setbacks. Civic Nebraska met recently with State Sen. Jane Raybould of the Government Committee and Gavin Geis of Common Cause Nebraska to discuss election-related highlights from the session. Watch a recording of the event here.
Civic Nebraska and other pro-democracy organizations did all we could to ensure that legislation to implement voter ID rejected various attempts to create unnecessary barriers for voters or shut voters out of elections. The final bill accommodates voters in a variety of ways, making it the “least bad option” of potential voter ID bills. Passed 38-1, the bill:
accepts a broad list of IDs, including expired IDs, student IDs, and hospital and assisted living facility records;
provides free state IDs needed for voting purposes;
requires absentee voters to provide their driver’s license or state ID number on their ballot request;
authorizes voters to vote provisionally if they have a disability, illness, religious objection to being photographed, or lack of a birth certificate needed to acquire an ID; and
funds a statewide awareness campaign to inform voters about this new process.