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Editorial Roundup: Nebraska

Lincoln Journal Star. May 24, 2023.

Editorial: Better plan for voter ID moves ahead

Nebraska had no demonstrable need for a voter ID law. Elections have always been safe, secure and accurately counted.

But concerns, fueled by allegations from then-President Donald Trump and his ardent supporters, led Nebraska voters last year to approve a constitutional amendment to require voter ID, following a campaign funded by the Ricketts and Peed families, an effort publicly led by Sen. Julie Slama of Dunbar.

After the approval of the amendment, the Legislature was charged with working out the details, pitting Slama’s more complicated and restrictive implementation plan against one led by Sen. Tom Brewer and created by the Legislature’s Government and Military Affairs Committee.

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For example, Brewer’s plan would allow Nebraskans to write down their license or ID numbers from state-approved photo IDs when they request early voting ballots.

In stark contrast, Slama would have required a signature from a registered Nebraska voter, a notary public or a military notary confirming they had seen an early voter’s photo ID, and that check would have to take place when voters returned the ballot, not when it was requested.

Slama conducted a filibuster of her own Monday to try to stop or change the committee’s plan, first arguing that the committee amendment is unconstitutional, which it is not, then claiming the amendment isn’t conservative enough, saying voters approved a “conservative vision for Voter ID.

That vision, as seen in other conservative states that Slama used as a model, is, at its core, voter suppression, with requirements designed to make it harder for all to vote and particularly trying to reduce to a minimum early voting, which results in election show in Nebraska and nationally, has favored Democrats and progressives.

The fact that Democrats worked on the committee plan, Slama argued, somehow invalidated the proposal – “The people who opposed voter ID are now in control of voter ID,” she said. “This process and procedure has failed Nebraskans.”

In fact, the process led by Brewer served Nebraskans well as it gathered input from all concerned with voter ID and its implementation, brought in both parties and found a sensible, pragmatic proposal that met the goal expressed by Sen. John Lowe of Kearney – “Do as little harm as possible.”

Slama’s arguments, the amendment and her additional ideas to reduce exceptions to the ID requirement and add another citizenship check for voters didn’t sit well with 92 of the state’s 93 county election officials, who support the committee’s plan.

Nor did Slama gain much support among her colleagues in the Republican dominated Legislature. Slama’s amendment was rejected on a 22-8 vote and she was the only vote against advancing the measure to another round of consideration.

Again, Nebraska didn’t need voter ID. But, since it has to be implemented, the measure that seems to be on the way to becoming law appears to be the best possible plan to implement voter ID without limiting early ballots and suppressing overall voting.

McCook Gazette. May 26, 2023.

Editorial: Memorial Day should be more than a day off

We hope you’ll take the time to attend your local Memorial Day service on Monday, and that you won’t be in a hurry to get back to the lake or home for the barbecue.

Yes, Memorial Day is a day to pay tribute to and remember the men and women who sacrificed their lives while serving in the military. By commemorating Memorial Day, we can show our respect and gratitude for those who made the ultimate sacrifice to protect the nation’s freedoms and values.

Stroll thoughtfully around Memorial Park and Riverview cemeteries you’ll find the graves, decorated with American flags, of veterans of both sides of the Civil War and conflicts all the way up to the War on Terrorism.

Chances are, some of them are your friends or relatives. Memorial Day is a good way to honor and remember these local heroes, ensuring that their sacrifices are not forgotten.

Originally “Decoration Day,” Memorial Day dates back to the aftermath of the Civil War and is an important way to contribute to preserving and upholding the historical significance of Memorial Day and its importance in American culture.

Sadly, we won’t see some of our old friends at the service, but it’s a great time to touch base with those who do — especially heartwarming in these post-pandemic times.

Memorial Day and the Fourth of July provide an opportunity for people to connect with each other, share stories, and support families who have lost loved ones in service.

And don’t forget to take your younger family members along. Memorial Day serves as an educational opportunity to teach younger generations about the sacrifices made by military personnel. Memorial Day and other community events like Heritage Days parades, ceremonies, or educational programs, can help instill a sense of patriotism and a deep appreciation for the country’s history and the sacrifices made to protect it.

Let’s enjoy the traditional opening day of summer, but let’s do our best to take time to remember the fallen, preserve historical traditions, foster unity, and educate future generations about the importance of military service and sacrifice.

Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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