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As an Air Force veteran, I know there is nothing is more important to our democracy than the security of our elections.

In a time when public anxiety about election security is high, our legislators need to secure our election process by making voter rolls more accurate and ensuring that all eligible citizens can vote without fear of fraud. We need a system that protects the fundamental freedom of every eligible American to vote, while safeguarding the process.

The "Nebraska safe elections" bill, LB290, currently in the Government, Military, and Veterans Affairs Committee, is exactly what we need. By creating, updating, or affirming voter registration when an eligible voter interacts with the DMV, LB290 will ensure accurate voter rolls that will help keep our elections safe and efficient. Having the most up-to-date voter information means that election officials can ensure that all eligible voters can cast a ballot.

I dedicated much of my life to the protection of our democracy by serving in the United States Air Force. This service informs my belief that the core of our democratic society is our election system. The right to vote can not be taken for granted.

My service also taught me what it means to respond effectively and responsibly to a threat.

There were unprecedented threats to our election system in 2016, and we have no idea what 2018 has in store. If we are going to respond effectively, we need to start now. It's time for Nebraskans to take sensible steps to keep our elections secure, our voter rolls accurate, and our process cost-effective.

LB290 is a common-sense change that will help the Secretary of State keep our voter rolls clean and allow eligible Nebraskans -- such as members of the military, senior citizens and people with disabilities -- to exercise their freedom to vote.

The real threat to our elections is internal -- when our rolls are riddled with inaccuracies like people registered at multiple addresses or records with typos, it’s much less secure.

LB290 fixes these problems by updating voter information for eligible citizens when they interact with the DMV. This process will help us to create clean and accurate voter rolls.

And when our voter rolls are accurate, eligible citizens can exercise their freedom to have their votes counted and their voices heard in our elections.

LB290 could also save our state serious money. When our lists are accurate, election officials don’t have to send out provisional ballots, which they use when residents have a different address on their registration file than their current address. They have the voter information right from the start. Data-entry and related errors become a thing of the past. This saves election officials time and saves our state money.

This is a common-sense update we can all support.

Similar legislation has passed with strong support from both Republicans and Democrats in several states, ranging from West Virginia to Rhode Island, Illinois to Alaska. It saves time, saves money, and makes our elections safer.

LB290 is a chance to secure our elections, make sure eligible citizens can vote without hindrance, and save money. I have worked to protect our democracy from threats, and it’s time for our state legislature to do the same.

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Cliff McEvoy is an Air Force veteran and serves on the board of Nebraskans for Civic Reform. He lives in Omaha.


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