LINCOLN, Neb. — More bills that target Nebraska's election laws are up for hearings today in the state legislature.
LB 457 from Bellevue Senator Rick Holdcroft would require video surveillance of voting and add anti-tampering and anti-counterfeiting requirements for paper ballots, vote scanning devices, and vote counting systems.
Meanwhile LB 193 from Hastings Senator Steve Halloran would require that all voting systems in Nebraska be made in the U.S.
Another measure from Halloran that's up for a hearing would allow election commissioners and county clerks to count votes by hand for elections and recounts.
Supporters of the measures say it would improve election integrity as they make claims about voter fraud. Experts say voter fraud is rare in Nebraska with only two documented cases of people voting twice among millions of ballots cast in the last several elections.
The bills bring strong opposition from county election officials.
Hall County Election Commissioner Tracy Overstreet says the video surveillance proposal could cost hundreds of thousands of dollars for the county and more than $6 million for the 1,200 polling places in the state.
Overstreet says an individual paper ballot costs ten cents now but adding watermarks and homographs could add up to $2 per ballot.
Overstreet said the measure is expensive and could lead to voter intimidation.
She also says serial numbers on ballots could make them traceable which eliminates secrecy.
Finally, she says requiring video cameras would effectively end curbside voting which would make voting harder for disabled voters.
Overstreet is a member of the Nebraska Association of County Clerks, Register of Deeds and Election Commissioners Election Law Committee.
She said county election officials also oppose the proposals from Halloran. Overstreet said hand-counting ballots has “proven to be time-consuming, costly and error-ridden.”
She said humans need bathroom breaks and can make errors while machine counting has been proven to be reliable.