Nebraska voters will decide whether or not to expand Medicaid in the state, after the organization behind the effort claimed it had enough signatures to put the question on the November ballot.
Insure the Good Life announced it had collected more than 135,000 signatures in its efforts, far more than the 84,268 required by today’s deadline. In order to qualify, the group had to collect signatures from a minimum of 7 percent of the state’s more than 1.2 million registered voters. Those signatures were turned over to the office of Secretary of State John Gale this afternoon, but verification could take as long as 50 days, according to an announcement sent out from Gale’s office.
If the initiative qualifies for the ballot and voters approve it, the state’s Medicaid plan would be expand eligibility to cover “certain adults” between the ages of 19 and 64 whose incomes are 138 percent below the federal poverty level. According to the Associated Press, Medicaid expansion would provide health care to an estimated 90,000 Nebraskans who earn too much to qualify for Medicaid but not enough to qualify for financial assistance under the Affordable Care Act.
Maine voters approved Medicaid expansion during the 2017 election, becoming the first state to do so. A similar initiative is pending for the November election ballot in Idaho and another has already been certified and will appear on the ballot in Utah.
North Carolina voters will decide next fall whether voter ID requirement should be part of the state constitution. The Republican-controlled state Senate approved the measure, which would bring back photo ID requirements that were part of a 2013 state election law that was later struck down by the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals in 2016. The ruling concluded, “the new provisions target African Americans with almost surgical precision,” and called it, “the most restrictive voting law North Carolina has seen since the era of Jim Crow.” Amendments do not require the approval of the governor, in this case Democrat Roy Cooper.
Governor Cooper released a statement earlier this month saying, “Here they go again. After being stopped by the Courts for discriminating against African Americans with ‘surgical precision,’ this Republican legislature is once again reducing access to the ballot box. We should be making it easier for people to vote, not harder.”
In a statement, Let America Vote president Jason Kander said, “North Carolinians who believe in a free and fair democracy now must stand up and fight to defeat this amendment so that this un-democratic policy is not enshrined in the state constitution. Let America Vote stands with voting-rights champions to make sure that political consequences exist for politicians who suppress the vote.”
According to North Carolina Republican Party executive director Dallas Woodhouse, the State Executive Committee will meet in Charlotte on August 4 to formally endorse the amendments that will appear on the ballot, and work to ensure their passage. Because the amendments were passed by a Republican-controlled legislature, they would presumably help drive Republican turnout in the 2018 election with no governor or U.S. Senate race on the ballot this cycle. Voter ID will be one of six constitutional amendments on the North Carolina ballot this November. Only two states currently have voter ID requirements in their constitutions.