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Trump meets with Martin Luther King III on Monday to discuss voting rights
01/16/17 |
Publication Date: 
Monday, January 16, 2017 - 17:00
Excerpt: 

The private session at Trump Tower with civil rights advocates, on the same day the nation is honoring the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday, represented a mix of symbolism and substance. King III has campaigned for years to establish a form of free government photo identification that could make it easier for Americans who lack a driver’s license or other official ID to cast ballots. He and the other attendees, including the Rev. James A. Forbes, have urged Trump to endorse the idea of making such identification free. ...

According to one of the meeting’s participants, who asked for anonymity to discuss a private conversation, Trump expressed a serious interest in making photos available on Social Security cards and said he would study the issue in further detail. ...

Proponents of the voter card emphasize that it will be voluntary, rather than universal, and said it represents a rational response to the fact that voter ID laws are poised to proliferate given Republicans’ recent gains on the state and federal level.

“We’re going to end up with more and more voter ID laws,” said American Enterprise Institute resident scholar Norman Ornstein. “And that’s a reality, and the question pragmatically is, what is the best way to deal with it?”

Ornstein noted that looking at minority turnout in the 2016 presidential election results, “It was down more in states with strict laws than in states without it."

Martin Luther King III: Trump agrees the voting system is broken. Here’s how he can fix it.
01/14/17 |
Publication Date: 
Saturday, January 14, 2017 - 01:00
Excerpt: 

[W]e can agree that every citizen should have the unfettered opportunity to vote. Indeed, my concern is not how people vote, but simply that they vote. ...

Fortunately, President-elect Trump agrees. Throughout the campaign, he consistently reminded the electorate that the system is broken.

Even more fortunately, it is indisputable that nonpartisan, common-sense solutions are available. In 2014, as the nation celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act at the LBJ Presidential Library, former presidents Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton endorsed my friend Andrew Young’s proposal that all citizens be able to obtain a photo ID card that would meet the voting requirements in every state. Following the event, Fox News host Bill O’Reilly voiced his support for the plan, saying they were “doing the country a service” and declaring, “Let’s get the pictures on the Social Security card, stop the nonsense and be a responsible country.” As Young has said, “The challenge with voter ID laws isn’t the requirement to show ID, it’s that so many people lack ID. That is the problem that needs to be fixed — and not just for voting. In today’s world, you can’t open a bank account without a photo ID — and the only people happy about that are check cashers.” ...

[A]t the end of the day, the right to vote is not a Republican right or a Democratic right — it is an American right. If Trump enables more Americans to exercise that right in future elections, he will be able to say that in no small measure he really did make America great again.
 

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Nebraska Election Info

Upcoming Elections in Your State

2016 General Election: November 8, 2016

Voter Registration Deadline: October 28, 2016 (in person); October 21, 2016 (online or by mail)

For more information, visit http://www.sos.ne.gov/elec/voter_info.html.

Election Day:

Polls are open from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. (Central Time Zone) and 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. (Mountain Time Zone).

Any registered voter may participate in early voting by making a written request to his or her local election office by October 28.

How to Find Your Polling Place: Visit the Nebraska Secretary of State’s Polling Place website at https://www.votercheck.necvr.ne.gov/VoterView/PollingPlaceSearch.do.

REGISTER TO VOTE HERE

Already registered? Verify your voter registration status.


Registration Deadlines:

The deadline to register to vote online is 5:00 p.m. Central Time the third Friday before an election, which is October 21 for the 2016 General Election.  The deadline to register to vote by mail is on or before the third Friday prior to an election, which is October 21 for the 2016 General Election.  The deadline to register to vote in person is before 6:00 p.m. Central Time on the second Friday prior to an election, which is October 28 for the 2016 General Election. 

How to Check Your Registration: Visit https://www.votercheck.necvr.ne.gov/VoterView/RegistrantSearch.do or call 866-OUR-VOTE.

Registration Eligibility: In order to be eligible to register in Nebraska, you must:

  • Be a United States Citizen;
  • Live in Nebraska;
  • Be at least 18 years of age on or before November 8;
  • Have not been convicted of a felony, or at least 2 years have passed since you completed your felony sentence including any parole time; and
  • Have not been found mentally incompetent by a court.

There is no duration of residence requirement in Nebraska; you may register to vote the first day you move to the state.

How to Register: Eligible voters may register online, by mail, or in person.

Online

In order to register online, you must have a Nebraska driver’s license or state-issued identification card.  Applicants can apply to register at https://www.nebraska.gov/apps-sos-voter-registration/

By Mail

In order to register by mail, you must obtain a mail-in registration form by:

In Person

You may register to vote in person in any of the following ways:

  • Completing an application with your local election office;
  • When applying for or renewing your driver’s license or State Identification Card; or
  • Completing an application with another State Office such as the Department of Health and Human Services or the Department of Education.

Identification Required for Registration:  Nebraska does not require identification unless a voter is registering to vote for the first time by mail.  If registering to vote for the first time in Nebraska by mail, you must provide a copy of a current and valid photo ID or a copy of a utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck, or other government document dated within 60 days prior to the date of presentation showing the same name and residence as provided on the voter registration application.

If You Want to Vote Early

Any registered voter may request an early ballot from his or her local election office.  Visit http://www.sos.ne.gov/elec/clerks.html to find the appropriate election office. 

Request

Applications must be written and must include the voter’s home address, address where the ballot should be sent, telephone number if applicable, and signature.  The voter may use the form provided on the Nebraska Secretary of State’s website (http://www.sos.ne.gov/elec/pdf/earlyvote_app.pdf). Requests can be made in person or sent by mail, fax, or email. 

Application Deadline

A mailed application must be sent no later than the third Friday prior to Election Day, which is October 21 for the 2016 General Election. The local election office must receive the application no later than the close of business on the second Friday prior to Election Day, which is October 28 for the 2016 General Election.

Completed Ballot

The voter may mail or deliver the completed ballot to his or her local election office.  The completed ballot must be received before the polls close (8:00 p.m. CT/7:00 p.m. MT) on Election Day to be counted. 

If You Want to Vote Absentee

Nebraska no longer has absentee voting.  All voters are permitted to participate in early voting.

Identification Requirements to Cast a Ballot

Voters do not need to present identification in order to cast a ballot unless the voter is a first-time voter who did not provide identification with his or her mailed registration. 

Acceptable forms of identification for first-time voters include current photo identification or any of the following dated within 60 days before registration:

  • Utility bill;
  • Bank statement;
  • Government check;
  • Paycheck; or
  • Government document. 

Without one of these forms of identification, a voter is only permitted to vote a provisional ballot.

VoteRiders has created Nebraska voter ID info cards in English and in Spanish.

Moving within the Same County

A voter should update his or her voter registration with any change of address.  If the voter has not updated his or her address and has moved to a different address in the same county, he or she may be asked to cast a provisional ballot at the polling place associated with the new address. The provisional ballot will be counted if the county clerk can verify the information contained in the voter certification.

Moving Between Counties

A registered voter who has moved to a different county must re-register to vote in the new county.  If a voter who has relocated to another county has not re-registered to vote, that voter will not be permitted to vote in the election.

Military and other overseas citizens may use the standard procedure for early voting by mail, but there are also special provisions for members of the U.S. Armed Forces and Merchant Marine, commissioned corps of the Public Health Service and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, along with family members of all these groups, and other citizens who reside outside the United States.  These individuals are known as UOCAVA voters.

Registering and Requesting an Absentee Ballot

UOCAVA voters can use the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) to register to vote and to request an early ballot at the same time.  The deadline to register by mail is October 21, 2016 at 6:00 p.m. The deadline to register by email or fax is October 28 at 6:00 p.m. The deadline for requesting a ballot is November 2, 2016, at 4:00 p.m. Visit the Federal Voting Assistance Program’s (FVAP) Nebraska page at https://www.fvap.gov/nebraska for more information.  The FPCA form is available at https://www.fvap.gov/uploads/FVAP/Forms/fpca2013.pdf.      

If you have questions, you can contact the Secretary of State’s Office at (888) 727-0007 or at sos.elect@nebraska.gov.  You can also contact the FVAP at 1-800-438-VOTE or vote@fvap.gov.

Receiving an Absentee Ballot

UOCAVA voters may receive their blank absentee ballots by mail, email, or fax.  To request a blank ballot by email or fax, UOCAVA voters must mark the appropriate box on the FPCA and provide an email address or fax number in Box 5.  The local election office will honor the voter’s preference.  Ballots must be returned by mail or delivery to the voter’s local election office before the polls close on Election Day, November 8, 2016.

Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot

The Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot (FWAB) is a back-up ballot that can be used by all UOCAVA voters.  UOCAVA voters use the FWAB to write in their votes when they have not received their early voting ballot in time.  If a UOCAVA voter is not registered, the local election office will treat the information submitted in the FWAB transmission envelope as the voter’s registration application.  The FWAB form is available at https://www.fvap.gov/uploads/FVAP/Forms/fwab2013.pdf.  FWABs must be returned by mail or delivery to the voter’s local election office before the polls close on Election Day, November 8, 2016.

A citizen who has been convicted of a felony cannot vote until 2 years after completing the felony sentence, including any parole.  The voter disqualification will be removed automatically once the sentence is complete.

FAQ

Top Issues to Field

For more information for voters with disabilities, find a National Disability Rights Network partner in your area.

For more information for student voters, visit the Student Voting Guide from the Brennan Center for Justice.

Information provided by Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights

Voting as a Student

As a student, you have a constitutional right to register and vote in the place you truly consider to be “home” — whether that’s your parents’ house, your apartment, or your dorm room. But before you make the important decision about where to vote, make sure you know the voting rules (and sometimes consequences) of registering to vote in that state.

More Info On Student Voting

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2016 Election Information for your state