-By Eric W. Dolan
January 12, 2012- The Democratic Party of Nebraska on Wednesday slammed a proposed voter ID law, which they claimed would deter low-income, elderly, disabled, and minority citizens from voting.
“This bill is a blatant attempt to prevent Nebraskans from exercising their constitutional right to vote,” said Jim Rogers, Executive Director of the Nebraska Democratic Party. “It is a solution looking for a problem and it is wrong for Nebraska. We call on the Legislature to defeat this bill.”
The bill, LB239, would require voters to submit government-issued photo identification at the polling booth before casting a ballot.
“I do not assert that there is rampant voter fraud in Nebraska. Nebraskans are honest and forthcoming people,” said Nebraska Sen. Charlie Janssen (R), who proposed the legislation. “But we are also not naive. Elections are very important to ensure voter support and electoral accountability.”
Republicans across the country have pushed for stricter voting regulations, such as voter ID laws, to protect against alleged voter fraud. More than 30 states have changed voter laws since 2008, including requiring voter identification cards, eliminating same-day registration on voting day, prohibiting ex-felons from ballot access, restricting early voting and requiring proof of citizenship.
But Democrats argue that voter ID laws are unnecessary due to a complete lack of evidence of any organized voter fraud scheme. They say it unfairly targets low-income, elderly, disabled, and minority voters, who are less likely to have a photo ID — and also tend to support Democrats over Republicans.
“Nebraska has a proud tradition of fairness,” Rogers added. “Because of the good faith we have exhibited, we have not been treated in a suspect manner when it comes to voting rights for minorities. We should be proud of this. We need to continue this display of good faith by rejecting unnecessary roadblocks to the polling booth. Voter suppression simply has no place in Nebraska.”