Action Alert: Oppose the Unfair Election Laws LB 1115 and LB 1065

The following is a message from LWVNE President Sherry Miller and LWVNE Social Policy Director John Else to all members. We encourage non-members to participate in this call to action as well.

ACTION ALERT #1: LB 1115, REDUCING POPULATION COUNTS FOR REDISTRICTING

Dear Activists,

It appears that LB 1115 may be debated in the Unicameral this week, since it is on General File. It is Senator Murante’s priority bill. Please call your senator opposing this bill, since it can severely impact the fairness of redistricting in Nebraska. This is the intent of LB 1115, followed by the language of Article III, Section 5 to which it refers.

The following constitutes the reasons for this bill and the purposes which are sought to be accomplished thereby:

Article III, section 5 of the Nebraska Constitution states: “The basis of apportionment shall be the population excluding aliens, as shown by the next preceding federal census.”

LB 1115 would effectuate that policy by requiring the population basis for redistricting for legislative districts, Supreme Court districts, and all political subdivision districts the total population minus non-citizens.

III-5. Legislative districts; apportionment; redistricting, when required.
The Legislature shall by law determine the number of members to be elected and divide the state into legislative districts. In the creation of such districts, any county that contains population sufficient to entitle it to two or more members of the Legislature shall be divided into separate and distinct legislative districts, as nearly equal in population as may be and composed of contiguous and compact territory. One member of the Legislature shall be elected from each such district. The basis of apportionment shall be the population excluding aliens, as shown by the next preceding federal census. The Legislature shall redistrict the state after each federal decennial census. In any such redistricting, county lines shall be followed whenever practicable, but other established lines may be followed at the discretion of the Legislature.

Feel free to use any of the talking points listed below. Be sure to call as YOUR senator’s constituent. They will listen to constituents.

Thank you,

Sherry Miller, President, LWVNE; and John Else, Director of Social Policy

LB 1115 TALKING POINTS

*LB 1115 perpetuates an injustice begun in 1875 when Article III, Section 5 was adopted into the Constitution. The word “aliens” most likely referred to Native Americans or newly arrived immigrants from Europe. It was amended in 1920, probably also in reference to immigrants fleeing the aftermath of WWI.

*Nebraska Legislature obtains the count of “aliens” or “non-citizens” from the U.S. Census.

*It seems that redistricting in Nebraska is based only on citizens (or possibly voters}. Omitting non-citizens overlooks the fact that many of them pay taxes and are therefore taxed without representation.

*This is harmful to those immigrants who are awaiting legal status and are in every sense citizens in actuality except for the completion of application and the naturalization ceremony.

*LB 1115 would expand this limitation on population for redistricting purposes beyond legislative districts to all political subdivisions, not just legislative districts.

Urge your senator to vote NO on advancing LB 1115 to Select File. Let’s kill this thing and then look to getting the constitution amended in the future.

ACTION ALERT #2: LB 1065, REQUIRING POLL WORKERS TO MATCH VOTER IMAGES ON FILE, REDUCING NUMBER OF PEOPLE ABLE TO VOTE

Dear Activists,

Here we go again. LB 1065, introduced by Senator Murante, has advanced from the Government Committee to General File. I encourage you to contact your senator in opposition to this bill.

Its purported intent is to update poll site equipment, making it easier for poll workers to identify voters coming to vote. But part of it is simply an attempt to impose voter ID rules. Other attempts have failed ever since 2012. Besides mandating the use of electronic poll books (computers), the bill requires a digital image of each voter be part of the listing of the voter. This image would probably be provided by the DMV.

I am including talking points from my testimony (see below) against LB 1065 for your use when you contact your senator. REMEMBER, Contact your Senators as constituents and not as members of the league. Senators give a great deal of weight to hearing from their CONSTITUENTS.

Thank you for taking prompt action on this important attempt to suppress voter rights.

Sherry Miller, President
League of Women Voters of Nebraska

LB 1065 TALKING POINTS

TESTIMONY TO THE GOVERNMENT/MILITARY/VETERANS AFFAIRS COMMITTEE, FEBRUARY 14, 2018

First, County election offices across Nebraska need updated election equipment now. Implementing an electronic poll book system will take time and money, lots of money. While the electronic system may be an idea to contemplate for upgrading our election systems in the future, 2018 is a crucial midterm election year, which, it is hoped, will bring much renewed voter attention to the process, and 2020 even more so.

Secondly, voters deserve a measure of privacy. Furthermore, facial features can change from one election cycle to another through surgery, accidents, and plain old aging. How often would voters have to re-register to assure compatibility with a digital image? I agree it may be an unlikely scenario, but it could happen, and more than once.

Thirdly, in a time of income shortfall for our state government, why mandate a very expensive measure, costing $2.6 million for the first year and $451,000 for succeeding years.

Fourth, current election systems must be updated in a timely way to meet more immediate needs and not risk their failure while waiting for an electronic system to be put in place.

Please vote no to LB 1065.

Download & Print Our Voting Basics Flier

In keeping with our mission, LWVGO is preparing for Nebraska primaries on May 15 by helping to register and empower voters.

If you’d like to get involved, contact us to find out how you can help nonpartisan voter-registration and get-out-the-vote efforts. You can also request volunteer deputy registrars for events.

You can also help distribute our Voting Basics flier, which covers how to register, look up and verify your registration, how to get a vote-by-mail ballot and more information about voting in Douglas and Sarpy counties.

Oppose Voter ID, an Unnecessary Burden Impacting Seniors and Young Nebraskans

LB 1066, introduced by Sen. Murante last month, infringes upon the right to vote by putting up barriers that would especially impact both older and young Nebraskan voters.

Read LWVNE president Sherry Miller’s testimony against this rights-infringing bill: Miller Testimony Opposing LB 1066.

Contact your state senator today to express your opposition to a burdensome requirement of a photo ID (driver’s licence) with an address that exactly matches voter-registration data.

Find your senator by going to nebraskalegislature.gov and entering your address under Find Your Senator.

Support Gerrymandering-Free Redistricting in Nebraska

Redistricting without gerrymandering: it’s important. Nebraska needs an overhaul of its redistricting process.

We support LB 973 requiring that maps drawn for redistricting are created using state-issued computer software. This proposed law will assure that mapping programs issued by special interest groups of any sort can’t be used in drawing the voter maps for Nebraska.

Let your Senator know you support this legislation, too. Read our letter supporting LB 973.

The Need for Nonpartisan Redistricting in Nebraska – And How You Can Help

In this episode of Go Vote, Omaha!, Geri Simon talks with Nebraska state senator Burke Harr and League of Women Voters member John Else about redistricting. The Nebraska legislature will consider LB216 in 2018. LB 216 would establish a commission to redistrict the state after the 2020 census.

Go Vote Omaha! is our locally produced informational television program. Watch Go Vote Omaha at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday nights on Cox channel 22 or Centurylink channel 89 or anytime on YouTube.

Evelyn Butts, the Supreme Court and the Poll Tax

Tia Spears and Charlene Ligon discuss Charlene’s book about her mother, Evelyn T. Butts. The book is “Fearless,” and it tells the story of Mrs. Butts and her Supreme Court case that ended the poll tax.

Go Vote Omaha! is our locally produced informational television program. Watch Go Vote Omaha at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday nights on Cox channel 22 or Centurylink channel 89 or anytime on YouTube.

Happy National Voter Registration Day!

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact:  Sherry Miller
402 488 2568,
kitty66hawk@aol.com

LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS OF NEBRASKA PROMOTES NATIONAL VOTER REGISTRATION DAY 

September 26, 2017

LINCOLN, NE – The League of Women Voters of Nebraska today announced the fifth National Voter Registration Day (NVRD), a nationwide, nonpartisan effort to register thousands of voters this fall on Tuesday, September 26th.

The Voting Rights Act (VRA) was a landmark piece of legislation, signed into law during the height of the Civil Rights Movement. The VRA was designed to enforce the voting rights guar-anteed by the 14th & 15th Amendments to the US Constitution.

NVRD, founded by the League of Women Voters of the U.S. and other voting rights and community organizations in 2012, has been a highly effective nonpartisan campaign to register tens of thousands of eligible voters on one single day through on-the-ground neighborhood events as well as online.  The League urges Nebraskans to take advantage of on-line voter registration through the secure Secretary of State website, which became available in 2015.

“We are excited to be a part of NVRD here in Nebraska,” said Sherry Miller, LVWNE President. “With each voter we register, the League is helping to get as many people participating as possible. This is our democracy, and our elected officials need to hear from all of us on Election Day. Voter registration is the key to helping Americans participate in the political process.”

“We look forward to NVRD on September 26th because it gives us another opportunity to exercise our commitment to Making Democracy Work® in Nebraska,” concluded Miller. “The League of Women Voters has 97 years of history as a powerful national network that empowers people every day to tackle the most important issues and improve government.”

 

Voter Registration, Voting Rights and Election Integrity in Nebraska

In this episode of Go Vote Omaha, Geri Simon talks with Bri McLarty, the Director of Voting Rights for Nebraskans for Civic Reform, talk about the integrity of our voting system in the context of the Trump administration’s request for voter data from all states.

Go Vote Omaha! is our locally produced informational television program. Watch Go Vote Omaha at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday nights on Cox channel 22 or Centurylink channel 89 or anytime on YouTube.