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Voter ID implementation measure approved after cloture vote

Lawmakers passed a bill June 1 that implements the provisions of an initiative petition approved by voters last year establishing a photo ID requirement to vote.

Sen. Tom Brewer
Sen. Tom Brewer

Among other provisions, LB514, introduced by Gordon Sen. Tom Brewer, lays out the requirements for a valid form of photographic identification, which includes a document issued by the state of Nebraska, an agency or a political subdivision of the state, the U.S. military, a Nebraska postsecondary educational institution or a recognized Native American tribe or band.

A hospital, assisted-living facility, nursing home or other skilled care facility record that includes a photo or digital image also will qualify.

The secretary of state’s office is required to provide a website dedicated to voter ID requirements and procedures and implement a public awareness campaign. No fee will be charged to Nebraska residents for an original, renewal or duplicate state ID card for voting purposes.

An individual without a photo ID may vote provisionally at the polls if they have a “reasonable impediment” to voting — including disability or illness or lack of a birth certificate or other required documents — or a religious objection to being photographed.

Mail-in ballots must include a copy of the voter’s photo ID or their Nebraska driver’s license number or state ID card number.

Ballots that do not meet these requirements can be “cured” through the election commissioner or county clerk’s office by providing missing information by the Tuesday following the election.

After two hours of discussion on final reading, Brewer offered a motion to invoke cloture, which ends debate and forces a vote on the bill. The motion was adopted on a 44-1 vote.

Senators then voted 38-1 to pass LB514, which took effect immediately.

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