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New Nebraska law requires photo ID when voting


Photo identification will be required in a Nebraska election for the first time in the statewide primaries on May 14. The new requirement comes from Legislative Bill 514, passed by the Nebraska Legislature on June 1, 2023.

The law applies to all primary, general and special elections.

“The reason that it is important to have is because it just provides us with some additional security when we vote,” said Robert Evnen, Nebraska’s Secretary of State. “You have to show a photo ID for many, many purposes, and it seems that this will help us further secure our elections.”

Evnen said that 97% to 98% of registered voters in Nebraska already have a state-issued photo ID. If a voter does not have an ID, Nebraskans can get a free state ID from the Nebraska Department of Motor Vehicles.

Acceptable forms of ID include a Nebraska driver’s license, Nebraska state ID, Nebraska college ID, Nebraska political subdivision ID, United States passport, military ID, tribal ID or a hospital, assisted-living facility or nursing home record. The ID can be expired but must include the voter’s name and photo.

A UNK student ID card is acceptable. College students can vote where they reside for college or in their home county. Those from out-of-state can vote in Nebraska, but it will cancel their voter registration in their home state. 

When voting in person at the polls or early at the election office, voters must present their photo ID. If a voter forgets their ID, they can fill out a provisional ballot that won’t count unless a photo ID is presented to the county election office on or before the Tuesday following the election. 

When voting by mail, a photocopy of an ID must be included or a Nebraska driver’s license/state ID number must be written on the early voting application or ballot return envelope.

Sam Schroeder, student body president/regent, said he believes all students should vote.

“The goal of our democratic system of government is to give power to the people through voting, and when a student votes, their voice is heard,” Schroeder said. “It is important to stay well-informed on the Nebraska government because the government makes decisions that affect the lives of students.”

Evnen said he thinks it’s important for students to be informed.

“We can’t have a representative democracy that works unless we inform ourselves about what’s going on in our government…,” Evnen said. “Our country, our communities and our state depend upon an informed citizenry, and who is more informed than UNK college students? They should be leading the way.”

More details about the voter ID law can be found at

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Jenna Heinz
Jenna Heinz, Reporter
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