Cloture attempt on voter ID constitutional amendment fails

Senators from Nebraska Unicameral rejected a cloture motion May 9 during first-round debate on a measure that would ask Nebraskans to decide whether voters must show identification at the polls.

LR1CA, introduced by Gretna Senator John Murante, would place a proposed constitutional amendment on the November 2018 general election ballot. If approved, the amendment would require voters in Nebraska to present an ID containing a photograph or digital image prior to casting a ballot.

The Legislature would be tasked with determining the specifics of the voter ID requirement through enabling legislation. Murante said it would be possible to craft enabling legislation that would not suppress the state’s minority vote, while acknowledging that voter ID requirements historically have been enacted with the intention of targeting minority groups.

Lincoln Sen. Adam Morfeld spoke in opposition, saying voter ID laws place an unnecessary burden on the elderly, veterans, low-income individuals and others. The secretary of state has stated that Nebraska’s elections are secure, he said, so there is no need to change the state’s constitution.

Murante offered a motion to invoke cloture, or cease debate and vote on the measure. He said he would work over the interim to try and develop voter ID legislation that everyone in the state could support.

The cloture motion failed on a vote of 26-17. A failed cloture motion results in debate on a proposal ceasing for the day. LR1CA is unlikely to be placed on the agenda again this session.

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