NTF Issue Paper: legwatch78.doc.  3-12.



BACKGROUND.  Currently, anyone can walk into a polling station, give your name and address, and vote under your name.  You come in later and suffer shock to discover that someone impersonated you and stole your vote.  Conservative State Senator Charlie Janssen introduced LB 239 in the Legislature, as a priority bill, to curb existing and future voter fraud at the polls.  His bill requires voters who refuse or fail to show at the polls photo or non-photo government-issued ID, like a state drivers license or state ID card, bank statement, utility bill, or voter registration postcard or letter acknowledgement, to cast only a provisional ballot, counted only if the voter presents ID to the election commissioner within 10 days.  Few Nebraskans lack drivers licenses or state ID cards.  Nursing home residents, religious objectors, and the indigent would win exemption.  Before each state primary and general election, the election commissioner or county clerk would mail acknowledgement of registration to each voter who does not have a valid drivers license or state ID card, for presentation at the polling place. This photo ID standard will withstand constitutional challenge, because the U.S. Supreme Court in 2008 upheld a similar Indiana requirement.  Similar legislation already has sailed to victory in Wisconsin, Kansas, Georgia, Tennessee, Texas, and South Carolina.  34 states in 2011 introduced bills to impose or strengthen voter ID requirements; 7 states enacted legislation.  15 states now require photo IDs, and 31 states have ID requirements.  One must present ID to rent a movie or a vehicle, cash a check, or board a plane, and this bill is not more discriminatory.  Kris Kobach, Kansas Sec. of State, states that hundreds or thousands of illegal aliens could be voting in his state, canceling votes of legal citizens.  A similar situation could be happening here.  Kobach campaigned on this legislation, the mainstay of his legislative agenda.  His bill also requires prospective voters to prove citizenship when registering, a positive possible addition to LB 239.

VOTE FRAUD TRUTHS.  Studies by constitutional scholar Larry Sabato prove that voter fraud is real, a danger to the integrity of ballot boxes around the nation.  Liberals who oppose such bills understand the closeness of elections and want to win at all costs.  Investigations in 10 states resulting in indictments saw all but one case involving Democrats.  Such explains why this party and its leftist allies fight ID laws.  They want to tilt elections in their direction by cheating. Their second goal is to exacerbate racial tensions by falsely claiming that conservatives want to deny minorities, the infirm, and the elderly the right to vote and engage in voter suppression.  Actually, in southern states, minority voter turnout in numbers and percentages of voter population increased after voter ID laws began.

LIBERAL OPPONENTS.  A leading opponent is the liberal League of Women Voters of Nebraska, which claims that voter fraud is not a problem here, though the main intent of the bill is to prevent future fraud.  Remember the 2011 recall election for the mayor of Omaha, when busloads of transients accepted booze money to line up at the office of the election commissioner to vote against the recall.  Other leftist opponents include the usual suspects: The American Civil Liberties Union-NE, NE Appleseed, Bold Nebraska, the teachers union, and AARP.  Liberals argue about inconveniences to some.  However, Supreme Court Justice Stevens wrote in the 2008 Indiana decision, “And 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.  Stevens added that the photo ID requirement was constitutional, because Indiana had a legitimate state interest in preventing voter fraud, modernizing elections, and safeguarding voter trust. ”There is no question about legitimacy or importance of a state‘s interest in counting only eligible voters,” he added.

CURRENT STATUS.  The bill now is on General File.  Liberal senators Avery, Council, Haar, Lathrop, and Mello have filed crippling amendments to bog down LB 239.  A few news outlets erroneously have reported that Sen. Janssen has removed his bill.  He has presented it to the full legislature.

THE STATISTICS.  The difference between Nebraskans who can vote with a driver license photo ID and those without a license totals 42,090.  The cost for a state ID for 5 yrs. is $26.50, thus, the cost for the state to issue IDs to everyone without a license totals $1,115,385, which initially appears a huge amount.  This amount would cost each licensed driver a surcharge of 81c every 5 yrs. to cover the cost of these voter IDs to prohibit fraud.  Residents who have no state drivers license but have other valid forms of ID, such as military, federal, and state employees, would lower this cost.

TAKE ACTION NOW.  Nebraska voters demand confidence and integrity in our voting system, and they deserve it.  This measure does not discriminate or deny a citizen the right to legally vote, it only helps to prove who is a legitimate voter.  Opposing this bill only encourages illegal voting.  Contact your state senator today to vote FOR LB 239Contact Sen. Charlie Janssen at District 15, State Capitol, Lincoln, NE. 68509, 402-471-2625;, to personally offer your support.  Remember that NE elections sometimes are closely contested!

Research and documentation for this issue paper done by Nebraska Taxpayers for Freedom.  This material copyrighted by Nebraska Taxpayers for Freedom, with express prior permission granted for its use by Citizens for Local Control, Cherry County Taxpayers, Dawes County Taxpayers, and other groups in the Tax Freedom Network.  3-12.  C


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