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Nebraska Enacts Broad Bill to Modernize Elections

Nebraska became the first state to enact a law to modernize voter registration since the Presidential Commission on Election Administration recommended it as a key reform to improve elections in America.

March 31, 2014

Today, Nebraska became the first state to enact a law to modernize voter registration since the Presidential Commission on Election Administration recommended it as a key reform to improve elections in America. Experts from the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law are available for your coverage.

“Modernizing voter registration is a critical way to bring America’s elections into the 21st century,” said Jennifer L. Clark, counsel in the Brennan Center’s Democracy Program. “It increases the accuracy of the voter rolls, boosts voter registration rates, curbs the possibility of fraud, and saves states considerable time and money. More states should follow Nebraska’s bipartisan lead and enact these common-sense reforms.”

The bill, signed by Governor Dave Heinemen (R) today, passed the Nebraska Unicameral Legislature with a unanimous vote on February 20, 2014, only one month after the Commission released its report. Under the new law, Nebraskans will be able to register to vote and update their registration information on the Secretary of State’s website. It also requires the state’s department of motor vehicles offices to transfer voter registration information to local election officials electronically, rather than through antiquated and time-consuming paper forms.

There is currently a fierce battle over efforts to restrict the vote. At the same time there are bright spots, with a number of states introducing legislation to modernize elections. See here for a detailed explanation of which states have adopted elements of voter registration modernization.

For more information, or to set up an interview with a Brennan Center expert, please contact Erik Opsal at erik.opsal@nyu.edu or 646-292-8356.