Voter ID – Tale of Two States

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email

While Nebraskans debate whether to establish a new law requiring voters to prove who they are, some of their neighbors to the south have put the new law to the test.

In Nebraska, LB 239 would require voters to produce a government issued photo identification before they case a vote at the ballot box. Opponents say the requirement would be an undue burden for voters especially low-income and minority voters.

Discussion on the bill could come as early as Thursday. Last year, the bill moved through the Government, Military, and Veterans Affairs Committee but no action was taken.

Meanwhile, a small town in southwestern Kansas has just completed its first election that required voters to show identification. About 460 people in the town of Cimarron took part in a vote to consider a 1.25% sales tax to finance a new swimming pool. The issue was overwhelmingly approved.

Gray County Clerk Bonnie Swartz says only one provisional ballot was required because someone showed up at the poll without a valid identification. That voter was protesting the new law.

Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, who is pushing for a voter identification law, says the Cimarron test shows it would not be a problem. However, some are debating whether it was a valid test. Some state legislators say the law would get a better test in more populated areas.

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