Government Military and Veterans Affairs

Omnibus election measure passed

Lawmakers gave final approval April 11 to an omnibus election measure.

Sen. Tom Brewer
Sen. Tom Brewer

LB287, sponsored by Gordon Sen. Tom Brewer, includes the provisions of several bills related to the state’s election laws heard by the Government, Military and Veterans Affairs Committee this session.

Under current law, the state attorney general is required to file an action in the appropriate court within 10 days of any state officer’s refusal to implement an act that has been deemed unconstitutional by a prior attorney general’s written opinion.

LB1191, sponsored by Lincoln Sen. Danielle Conrad, repeals that section of state law.

Provisions of LB861, sponsored by Elkhorn Sen. Lou Ann Linehan, change the processes for removing a signer’s name from a petition. The provisions eliminate the current requirement of a signed, sworn affidavit executed in the presence of an election commissioner, county clerk or notary public. Instead, a signer can remove their name by signing and delivering a written letter to the secretary of state, election commissioner or county clerk.

Election officials will be required to verify the signature on the removal letter with the signature appearing in voter registration records. The criminal penalty for falsifying a signature withdrawal letter is the same as the penalty for signing a petition when not legally qualified to do so.

Among other provisions, LB1152, sponsored by Brewer, changes procedures for voter registration removal, presidential elector meeting locations and dates and verification of driver’s licenses and state identification cards.

LB287 also includes provisions of:
• LB47, introduced by Sen. Myron Dorn of Adams, which amends the Open Meetings Act to authorize rural fire districts to post notice of their meetings prominently in three conspicuous places, instead of the current requirement to publish in a newspaper of general circulation in the public body’s jurisdiction;
• LB269, sponsored by Bayard Sen. Steve Erdman, which removes obsolete language in state law related to the 2021 redistricting process;
• LB302, introduced by Linehan, which makes a number of changes to the Nebraska Accountability and Disclosure Act regarding salary and conflict of interest disclosures;
• LB313, sponsored by Kearney Sen. John Lowe, which amends state election law regarding the process for filling vacancies in Nebraska’s delegations to the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives; and
• LB513, introduced by Brewer, which provides for alternative means of public notice under the Open Meetings Act when timely newspaper publication is unavailable and adds two categories of public bodies that may expand use of videoconferencing for their public meetings.

LB287 passed on a 46-0 vote and takes effect immediately.

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