The incoming Nebraska secretary of state intends to seek legislation that would require voters to show identification at the polls.
Bob Evnen says hat he plans to spend time during his first year in office studying other states’ voter ID laws before drafting his proposal for the 2020 legislative session.
“Having integrity in your voting system is absolutely fundamental in our democracy,” Evnen said.
Evnen beat Democrat Spencer Danner in November and will be sworn in Thursday to replace fellow Republican John Gale. Gale and other state election officials have said they haven’t seen evidence of systemic voter fraud in Nebraska.
Evnen’s proposal likely will face stiff opposition from legislators and others who say any voter ID requirement creates a new barrier to voting.
“I’ll vigorously oppose any voter identification legislation, as I have the last four years,” said state Sen. Adam Morfeld, of Lincoln, a Democrat in the officially nonpartisan Legislature. Morfeld said he doesn’t think there is enough support to pass a voter ID measure.
Last January Sen. John Murante offered three measures he said were needed to address potential voter fraud.
One bill would have required officials to check voter records for dead people and confirm the citizenship status of all registered voters. Another would have permitted the use of electronic books that poll workers could use to identify voters. The third would have required voters to show a government-issued identification at the polls.
Only the measure permitting the use of electronic books for poll workers was passed and signed by Gov. Pete Ricketts. The two other bills made no headway.