NE TAXPAYERS FOR FREEDOM TESTIMONY ON LB 111

NTF worksheet: illegal87.doc. 1-15.
NEBRASKA TAXPAYERS FOR FREEDOM TESTIMONY ON LB 111: Jan. 23, 2015.

Good afternoon. My name is Doug Kagan, and I represent NE Taxpayers for Freedom. We support LB 111, even though there is no accurate calculation of how many illegal aliens currently vote in Nebraska. We regard LB 111 as a preventive measure to stop non-citizens from illegally voting in our elections, something like a vaccination to prevent polio. Instructions to prospective voters and information posted at polls are additional safeguards at reasonable cost.

Currently, anyone can walk into a polling place, give your name and address, sign with your signature, and vote using your name. You come in later and are shocked to discover that someone impersonated you and stole your vote. This is a second means to easily vote illegally.

This photo ID standard will withstand constitutional challenge, because the U.S. Supreme Court in 2008 upheld a similar Indiana statute. Justice Stevens wrote, ” …even assuming that the burden may not be justified as to a few voters, that conclusion is by no means sufficient” to block the entire law. He added that the photo ID requirement was constitutional. Similar legislation already has sailed through in Kansas, Georgia, Texas, and other states. 15 states now require photo IDs, and 31 states have ID requirements. One must present a valid ID to rent a movie or vehicle, cash a check, or board a plane, and this bill is not more discriminatory. This process will not disfranchise the poor, who can receive a valid ID card free.

Requiring valid government-issued photo ID has prevented illegal voting in other states. Studies by constitutional scholar Larry Sabato prove that voter fraud is real, a danger to the integrity of ballot boxes everywhere. One of the most vocal supporters of strict voter ID is former Texas Att.-Gen. and now Gov. Greg Abbott, who prosecuted about 50 cases of voter fraud in recent years. Recall the 2011 Omaha mayoral recall election, when busloads of transients reportedly accepted “muscatel money” to line up at the election commissioner’s office.

Nebraska voters demand and deserve integrity in our voting system, even if stopping only a few illegal votes. NE elections sometimes are closely contested. This measure does not discriminate or deny a citizen the right to legally vote but only helps to prove legitimacy.
Thank you.

ADDENDUM: THE HEARING.
Bill sponsor Sen. Tyson Larson introduced the bill to protect voter reliability by detecting fraud. Kansas Att.-Gen. Kris Kobach, asked to appear by NTF, stated that Kansas has had voter ID since 2011. There is a list of acceptable voter ID documents, including Indian tribe ID. In 2012, 838 voters appeared without photo ID. They had 9 days to show photo ID for their votes to count. 532 did not provide such ID, though most of them had valid drivers licenses. Only a tiny percentage had no valid ID. In 2014, 570 appeared without photo ID. 267 had valid ID to prove they were legal voters; 303 did not. Kansas voter turnout rose from 2010 to 51% of eligible voters in 2014. Kobach recommended an amendment to likewise secure mailed-in ballots with photo ID and has exact language that would insulate this addition from lawsuits. County clerks would match ballot signature against registration signature on file. Complete drivers license number or photo ID would be required. In Kansas, there is no indigent monetary threshold; one only has to state that one cannot afford to buy a photo ID. The cost to provide free photo IDs has cost Kansas about $4,000. In 2012, the state provided 200-300 such IDs. The state ID card is valid elsewhere, e.g., to board an airplane. Kobach further warned the Government Comm. to not give drivers licenses to illegal aliens, who could use such ID to obtain additional ID materials that would allow them access to benefits to which they are not entitled. NE and 29 other states belong to the Interstate Cross-Check Project, which investigates duplicate voter registrations in these states. 66,000 duplicate registrations found as of 2015. One NTF member made this analogy: A bank leaves millions of dollars laying on the floor of the bank lobby. A customer asks why the bank has dumped this money in such a spot. The bank replies that, because it never has been robbed, it is safe to leave the money there. A Tea Party leader stated that petitioners circulating a Voter ID petition calculated that 80% of their contacts supported voter ID.

Opponents included a black sorority alumnus group that alleged voter suppression, a charge without proof. A member of the leftwing Nebraskans for Civic Reform asked the legislature to wait for more election cycles to see if there is illegal voting. He questioned the Kobach testimony that more people voted following voter ID requirements. The liberal League of Women Voters compared voter ID to a poll tax, though no money is involved. Its speaker warned of disenfranchisement of college youth, though they can vote absentee in their home states and should not get encouragement to vote in Nebraska also, a violation of federal law.

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