Voter ID, Minimum Wage initiatives to appear on ballot in November
LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - Secretary of State Bob Evnen announced Tuesday that county elections officials have completed their task of verifying signatures submitted as part of the Voter ID Constitutional Amendment and Nebraska Minimum Wage Statute Initiative, and both will appear on the ballot for the November general election.
The Nebraska Minimum Wage Statute Initiative would gradually raise the minimum wage over four years, adding $1.50 annually until it hits the $15 goal by 2026. According to Raise the Wage Nebraska, it would directly benefit 150,000 Nebraskans.
Morrow Collision Center, located in Lincoln, said bumping up worker pay is one tool they’ve used to battle turnover in an evolving job market.
“We don’t have applicants lining up at our door anymore. And so the number one way to be competitive, I think, in any any industry right now is to raise your starting wage,” said Steph Terry, Morrow Collision Center’s director of operations.
Economic Eric Thompson said a potential hike in wages could have advantages and disadvantages.
“This can have a number of consequences. There’s some ambiguity, whether it has any effect on total employment, more evidence that there may be a decline in the number of hours work, so people might be more likely to find a part time job or if they have a part time job, fewer hours, when the minimum wage is set higher,” said Thompson, director of the Bureau of Business Research and K.H. Nelson Professor of Economics.
The Voter ID Constitutional Amendment would require government-issued photo identification to vote in Nebraska. Citizens for Voter ID said requiring ID at the polls will “help keep elections in Nebraska free and fair and ensure voters have confidence in our election process.”
The Nebraska Constitution requires that Initiative Petitions asking for a law to be enacted submit signatures equaling at least 7% of the registered voters in the state (86,776) and 5% of the registered voters in 38 counties. The Minimum Wage Petition had 97,245 verified valid signatures, and the 5% threshold was reached in 44 of the Nebraska 93 counties.
Voter ID Constitutional Amendment required 10% of the registered voters in the state (123,966) and 5% of the registered voters in 38 counties to make the November General Election ballot. Voter ID met the requirement with 136,458 verified valid signatures of registered voters and met the 5% threshold in 76 of 93 counties.
Public hearings will be held in each of Nebraska’s three congressional districts and a brochure about the initiatives will be distributed to each of the county election offices. The dates and locations of district hearings will be announced later.
For more information about the Voter ID Constitutional Amendment and Nebraska Minimum Wage Statute Initiative, visit the Secretary of State’s website https://sos.nebraska.gov.
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