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Proposed bill could change how Nebraskans vote

FILE - People voting in the 2022 election. (Photo Credit: NTV News){p}{/p}
FILE - People voting in the 2022 election. (Photo Credit: NTV News)

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A bill to structure Voter ID in Nebraska was introduced this week in the legislature.

The bill as it stands Wednesday could cancel fees to acquire IDs and could largely eliminate voting by mail.

An exception could be made for those who show they can’t make it to the polls like military members and nursing home residents. Hall County Election Commissioner Tracey Overstreet said she’s concerned about certain parts of the bill.


“First of all it establishes Election Day as a holiday. That’s a concern for me because that would increase costs for our election workers as well as workers at polling sites. It's really restrictive for early voting. It really is putting a push back on having people come in person to vote at polling sites. While that might be, it’s a great way for a lot of people to vote, it’s not the method that everyone prefers or even has great access to in Nebraska.” said Overstreet.

When asked if she thinks this could make voters nervous, Overstreet said: “shifting voting to having pretty much everyone vote in person, to me that is a solution looking for a problem. I don’t think we’ve had election fraud in Nebraska. Maybe other states have dealt with various situations, but I don’t see election fraud in Nebraska, and I don’t really see the need to force people to go to a polling site as opposed to voting early.”

The bill in its entirety states: "LB228 - Create state holidays for statewide primary and general election days, require in-person voting, photographic identification to vote, counting of ballots on election day, and counting of ballots at the precinct level, and allow voting by mail for registered military personnel and residents of nursing homes and assisted-living facilities."

Overstreet talked about the percentages of how people have voted in Hall County.

“Typically in Hall County, 20% of the people vote early and 80% vote at the polls. During COVID, that went 50/50. Actually in the primary, we had a complete flop where 20% of the people came in to vote in person and 80% voted early. Then by the general, we were back to 50/50. For 2022 elections, we’re running more 30/70 60/40. Voting by mail and voting early are very popular in Nebraska,” said Overstreet.

Overstreet said if people don’t trust the voting process, to sign up to be a poll worker to see how the process works.

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"I agree with the senator that people’s perception does become their reality. So here is what I would challenge Nebraskans to do if they do have a perception that there is election fraud, if they have concerns about the election integrity in the state of Nebraska, what they need to do is sign up to be poll worker in the state of Nebraska. If they would work just one election, if every Nebraskan of voting age would work one election, they would see the duplicity, they would see all of the protections that are included with every election and they would feel very strongly and very good and very secure about Nebraska's gold star election system,” said Overstreet.

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