In 2018, a voter ID law pushed by Republicans in the Nebraska legislature was defeated for the 8th straight year. No voter ID bill was introduced this session, but Republicans haven’t given up their fight to suppress the vote. Nebraska’s recently elected Secretary of State Bob Evenen has made it his mission to pass a restrictive voter ID law in 2020. Voter ID laws were a major part of Sec. Evenen’s 2018 campaign, so Nebraskan voters and politicians need to be ready to push back.

Nebraska Democrats pushed two bills related to restoration of voting rights. One bill would restore voting rights to all felons (LB 711) and the other would restore the right to vote to individuals who have completed their felony sentence or probation for a felony (LB 83). The right to vote is the constitutional right that protects all other rights and should not be stripped of citizens. Restoring the right to vote helps reintegrate individuals into their communities and cuts recidivism.

Democratic legislation (LB 687) was introduced to revise Nebraska’s automatic voter registration (enacted in 2016) to require voters to opt-out of registering to vote instead of opting-in at the DMV. The legislation also ensures that only eligible citizens are automatically registered to vote. 

Nebraska Democrats introduced other measures to make voting more accessible, including introduced a bill (LB 733) to ensure polling places are handicapped accessible.

Finally, the Nebraska legislature is trying to determine how it should handle redistricting in 2021. Currently, the legislature, not an independent redistricting commission, will handle the job, so Nebraska legislative maps are in danger of being gerrymandered. Legislation has been introduced to outline procedures for redistricting (LB 253LB 466), but it is unclear whether those will ensure fair maps for Nebraskans. The best way to create democratic districts is to take partisan politics out of creating maps.