Proposed Bill Could Require Photo ID Before Casting Ballot

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LINCOLN, Neb. -- Getting carded in order to vote could be a change you'll see next year if two senators get their way. One of the bills presented would require a photo ID to vote at a polling place, and the other an extra envelope for mail-ins.

This isn't the first time legislation like this has been presented, and both those for and against the bill are prepared to argue it to the end.

Senator Tyson Larson from O'Neill is proposing a law that would require a valid, government-issued photo ID at all Nebraska polling places.

While some people said this is the state's duty and will help prevent voter fraud, others argued it will make voting more difficult for the poor and disabled.

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 34 states have already passed laws like this.

"I introduced this legislation in order to further protect the integrity and reliability of our elections," Larson said.

Larson's proposed law mirrors Indiana's, which allows people in need to get a voter's ID from the DMV free of charge.

"Because Indiana's cards are free, the inconvenience of going to the bureau of motor vehicles, gathering required documents and posing for a photograph does not qualify as a substantial burden to most voters rights to vote," Larson said.

Those against the bill worry it would be costly for tax payers who will pick up the tab for people getting free IDs.

"Based on the hypothetical, that those that are indigent wouldn't have bought IDs anyways, this flawed logic is similar to what Indiana thought and they are now paying $3 million annually, much higher than the $700,000 estimated," Voter ID Opponent Bri Mclarty said.

Supporters, however, said it's a safe guard against fraud.

"A voter ID keeps dishonest people from doing something dishonest, like unlawfully stealing my money or my vote and illegal aliens and dead people have been known to steal votes," Voter ID Supporter Paul Muyer said.

Senator Paul Schumacher of Columbus' bill would require an additional envelope inside a mail-in ballot.

The Government, Military and Veterans Affairs Committee held the hearing Friday and now lawmakers will decide whether the bill makes it to the floor for further debate.