Nebraska is a rare conservative-leaning state without a voter ID law, a voting rights activist said in Omaha on Thursday, and he suggested that Nebraskans work to keep it that way.
Jason Kander of Let America Vote and a former Missouri secretary of state spoke at an event for the nonprofit Nebraskans for Civic Reform, which is run by State Sen. Adam Morfeld of Lincoln.
Kander told the gathering at Love’s Jazz and Art Center that his goal is to make sure there are political consequences for politicians who pass voter ID and similar laws.
“If you make it harder to vote, we’ll make it harder to get re-elected,” he said.
Opponents of voter ID bills — who are generally Democrats such as Kander and Morfeld — say such legislation is designed to create roadblocks to voting.
Kander described it as a Republican strategy to make it harder for people who are generally Democrats to vote.
Proponents of the measures say they’re intended to prevent people from voting fraudulently.
In Nebraska, State Sen. John Murante of Gretna has sponsored a constitutional amendment that would allow the state to require voters to present photo identification. That bill failed to overcome a filibuster. He has said he planned to introduce similar legislation again.
Morfeld said he also expected a discussion next session on how to modernize Nebraska’s voting system.
If voter ID comes up again, Kander said, “take it one battle at a time and fight like crazy to stop it from happening.”
Kander criticized President Donald Trump’s decision to create a commission on voter fraud.
Kander is also the chairman of the Democratic National Committee’s Commission on Protecting American Democracy from the Trump Administration.
He said Nebraska was his 33rd — and final — state visit of the year.
His group has an office in Iowa but not in Nebraska.
But he said in an interview that he’d be back if legislators pass any restrictions on voting.
“If the Republicans in this state want to make sure Let America Vote shows up, they could pass some of these bad ideas,” he said.