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Seat at the Nebraska Table: Voter ID and Voting in Nebraska

The May 14th primary election is quickly approaching in Nebraska and with it, the implementation of new voter identification laws. The new laws are raising lots of questions across the state as voters prepare to cast their ballots. On the latest episode of Seat at Nebraska, hosted by Guadalupe Esquivel, Director of Communications at the Nebraska Table, we spoke with Heather Engdahl, Director of Voting Rights at Civic Nebraska, to dive into the changes surrounding voter ID in Nebraska and what they mean for voters.

Passed in 2022, these new voter ID laws mean that Nebraska voters will be required to present valid photo identification in order to cast their ballot. For many this may not present much of a challenge; however, for those who do not currently have a valid photo ID this adds a barrier potentially preventing them from voting.

As Enghdahl points out “voter ID [laws] can disenfranchise people by complicating the voting process and making it harder for people to vote.” The new laws could result in unintentional disenfranchisement, especially for already underrepresented communities, as everyone adapts to the new system. Election officials are working very hard to learn the new policies and implement them successfully in the upcoming elections. 

That said, Enghdahl notes that “even with the best intentions, it could ultimately result in a voter being turned away. We know that even just one voter turned away from casting their ballot is one voter too many.”  

This episode walks through the types of accepted IDs, commonly used IDs that are not accepted, resources available to help overcome this new step, and what exactly this will mean for voters when they go to cast their vote on or before election day. 

Engdahl and Esquivel end the episode by discussing the current threats to our elections and what they mean for the state of our democratic institutions. According to Enghdahl, the “biggest threat to our democracy is the partisanship and polarization and continued spread of misinformation and disinformation to intentionally skew the narrative about our democratic institutions.” 

“We are seeing coordinated, intentional efforts to sow seeds of blatant distrust in our election systems that are key to our democratic freedom.” 

Listen to the episode here.

KEY ELECTION DATES:
April 15, 2024 - In-person early voting at your county election commission begins 

April 29, 2024 - Deadline to register to vote online or by mail 

May 3, 2024  - Deadline to register in person and to request a vote-by-mail/absentee ballot.   

May 14, 2024 - Primary election day! 


RESOURCES: 

Civic Nebraska’s Voter ID guide: A great one stop guide for all things voter ID. It lists accepted IDs, and explains how this will affect your actual voting process. 

Nebraska Voter Information Check: Confirm your address, check the status of your voter registration, mail in ballot, and find information about your polling place at the. 

Register to vote with the Nebraska Table. 

Find your county election commission

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