Slama discusses voter ID ahead of November ballot
NORFOLK, Neb. -- With voter ID now on Nebraska's November ballot, one senator from southeast Nebraska is touring the state urging its approval.
On Wednesday, Nebraska Senator Julie Slama came to Norfolk, where she discussed voter ID with the Madison County GOP.
Slama is also the spokeswoman for citizens for voter ID, an organization that started the petition to get voter ID on the Nebraska ballot.
Slama said voter ID isn't a new concept to Nebraskans, and has been pushed by lawmakers many times but it always fell short.
Slama claims the reason for voter ID's past failure is due to special interest groups.
"This is something that's been in the legislature in different forms," Slama said. "The reason why it always failed is because special interest groups...they line up enough votes in the legislature to filibuster and block the bill or block it from coming out of committee altogether.”
According to Slama, voter ID would be a simple change to the Nebraska constitution. However, how voter ID would be implemented is a more complicated matter.
Slama said how voter ID is packaged would depend on the 2023 legislative session, similar to how gambling was legalized in the state.
Some concern that was expressed during the meeting was about mail-in ballots. Since many counties in Nebraska use mail-in ballots, some members of the GOP were concerned they would not be able to mail their votes in.
"It depends on what the elections turn out like in 2022," Slama said. "We need to implement the will of the voters and the package implementing this has to pass. So many other states have done this, thirty-five out of fifty. A lot of those states have mail-in voting...so it's not like we're reinventing the wheel. The package I'm looking toward designing absolutely takes into account what's been done well in the states that implemented it."
Opponents of voter ID cite high voter turnout, and trust in the current system as a reason against the measure. During a public hearing in 2021, the Democratic Party’s Preston Love claimed changing the system would cause voters to lose faith in the voting process. Voter ID will be listed as "initiative 432" on November's ballot.