Media Contact

Sam Petto, ACLU of Nebraska Communications Director

February 15, 2024

LINCOLN, Neb. – Poll results released today by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Nebraska show support for a voting rights restoration bill under consideration by the Nebraska Legislature. The civil rights organization says the findings highlight shared values across the political spectrum.

The results show 59% of surveyed Nebraskans in support of allowing Nebraskans with felony convictions to vote as soon as they have completed all terms of their sentence rather than the current law, which requires waiting an additional two years to vote.

Asked generally on the topic, 71% of those surveyed agreed that once someone has served their sentence and earned their chance to reenter society, Nebraska should automatically allow that person to vote again. 

And more than eight out of every 10 surveyed Republicans, Independents and Democrats agreed that Nebraska should do all it can to help those who were convicted of felonies reintegrate into their communities. 

The poll referenced LB 20, a bill introduced last year that moved out of committee on a bipartisan vote. State Sen. Jane Raybould has selected it as her priority bill for the session.

Jason Witmer, a policy fellow with the ACLU of Nebraska, said state senators should take note of the findings.

“Most Nebraskans believe in second chances,” Witmer said. “Remember, we are talking about Nebraskans who are already done with their sentences and are working, paying taxes and contributing to our communities. There is no good justification for making them wait two additional years to have a say in who represents them and how their tax dollars are used.”

The ACLU of Nebraska commissioned research firm Benenson Strategy Group for the poll. It included 609 interviews of registered voters across Nebraska who are likely to vote in this year’s general election. Those interviews took place in March of 2023.

During election years, the ACLU of Nebraska regularly fields legal intake questions related to the voting waiting period. Four years ago, the organization discovered that mistakes and confusion over Nebraska’s law had caused election officials to send disqualification notices to Nebraskans who should not have received them