LINCOLN — A Gretna state senator is not giving up on bringing voter identification to Nebraska.
Days after an opponent of voter ID visited Omaha, Sen. John Murante called a press conference Tuesday to say he plans to introduce a package of legislation with more than one option for enacting voter ID in the state.
The details are still being worked out, and the senator did not offer specifics.
“I am confident that these options will preserve the integrity of our elections without turning a single lawful voter away from the polls,” Murante said.
Murante also said he would continue to fight in the coming session for Legislative Resolution 1CA, which asks Nebraskans whether they want to put a photo ID requirement in the State Constitution. If adopted by the full Legislature, ballot language on the constitutional amendment would then go before voters. In May, the resolution failed to overcome a filibuster.
State Sen. Justin Wayne of Omaha opposed the resolution and at the time said voter ID is intended to discourage poor and minority voters from going to the polls.
On Tuesday, Wayne said he would adamantly oppose attempts to bring voter ID to Nebraska.
“We have other priorities right now,” Wayne said. “And this is political at best.”
Wayne said the state does not have the money to ensure that every person has a state-issued ID. He said the best way to secure the state’s elections is to upgrade election technology.
Murante, a GOP candidate for state treasurer, also took issue with a recent visit to Omaha by Jason Kander of Let America Vote. The former Missouri secretary of state spoke at an event on Thursday. The event was sponsored by the nonprofit Nebraskans for Civic Reform, which is run by State Sen. Adam Morfeld of Lincoln.
Kander said his goal is to make sure there are political consequences for politicians who pass voter ID and similar laws, which he described as a Republican strategy to make it harder for people who are generally Democrats to vote.
“If you make it harder to vote, we’ll make it harder to get re-elected,” Kander said.
Murante was named to the organization’s “Voter Suppression Hall of Shame,” which lists elected officials the group says “support voter suppression bills.”
Murante said Kander’s comments are an attempt to intimidate conservative senators into voting against the will of their constituents.
“To Mr. Kander and his liberal cronies, voter ID might be a bad idea, but to Nebraskans, it’s common sense,” Murante said.
“I will not give in to the attacks of these leftist elites,” Murante said. “I will stand strong. And I will continue to fight for our elections, to make our elections more safe and secure, and to ensure the voice of the people is truly heard.”
Kander responded Tuesday through a spokesman.
“Sen. Murante should get used to being called out for his un-American assault on voting rights unless he ends his support for restrictive, unnecessary and ineffective proposals that have already been defeated in Nebraska with bipartisan opposition.”