Nebraska State Constitution Article I-22

Article I-22


Elections to be free; identification required.

(1) All elections shall be free; and there shall be no hindrance or impediment to the right of a qualified voter to exercise the elective franchise.

(2) Before casting a ballot in any election, a qualified voter shall present valid photographic identification in a manner specified by the Legislature to ensure the preservation of an individual’s rights under this Constitution and the Constitution of the United States.


  • Neb. Const. art. I, sec. 22 (1875);
  • Amended 2022, Initiative Measure No. 432.


1. Nominations

2. Miscellaneous

1. Nominations

Legislature is authorized to establish different qualifications for voters in a school district election. Farrell v. School Dist. No. 54 of Lincoln County, 164 Neb. 853, 84 N.W.2d 126 (1957).

Statute prohibiting state and federal officers and employees from being delegates to county, district, and state political conventions did not violate this section. State ex rel. Baldwin v. Strain, 152 Neb. 763, 42 N.W.2d 796 (1950).

This provision does not operate to circumscribe power of Legislature to define the method of effecting the appointment of presidential electors. State ex rel. Beeson v. Marsh, 150 Neb. 233, 34 N.W.2d 279 (1948).

Statutes regulating nomination and election of candidates and prescribing formation of new party are constitutional, if elections are left free and open to all electors. State ex rel. Nelson v. Marsh, 123 Neb. 423, 243 N.W. 277 (1932).

Statute providing for nomination of delegates to constitutional convention by petition only, does not infringe this section, which applies to elections and not to method of nomination. Baker v. Moorhead, 103 Neb. 811, 174 N.W. 430 (1919).

Legislature may regulate nomination of candidates provided regulations are reasonable and do not unnecessarily hamper or impede right of voter to vote for whomsoever he pleases. Morrissey v. Waite, 92 Neb. 271, 138 N.W. 186 (1912).

Statute describing form of official ballot but limiting candidates named thereon to nominees by petition, which has effect of depriving all electors excepting five hundred in each county of right to take part in nominating, violates Constitution. State ex rel. Ragan v. Junkin, 85 Neb. 1, 122 N.W. 473 (1909).

Statute requiring candidates for primary elections to pay fee for filing nomination papers, computed at 1 per cent of emoluments received as salary by that officer, is in conflict with Constitution. State ex rel. Adair v. Drexel, 74 Neb. 776, 105 N.W. 174 (1905).

2. Miscellaneous

Because the right to participate in representative government is not implicated by a referendum proceeding, the constitutional right to vote is not violated by the Nebraska Constitution's limitations on the right to refer legislative enactments to the voters. Pony Lake Sch. Dist. v. State Committee for Reorg., 271 Neb. 173, 710 N.W.2d 609 (2006).

The right to vote under this provision does not extend beyond issues involving the right to participate in representative government. Pony Lake Sch. Dist. v. State Committee for Reorg., 271 Neb. 173, 710 N.W.2d 609 (2006).

This section has no application to a public corporation or political subdivision where it operates in a proprietary capacity. Wittler v. Baumgartner, 180 Neb. 446, 144 N.W.2d 62 (1966).

The second reapportionment act enacted by the 1965 Legislature did not impede the right of a voter to exercise the elective franchise. Carpenter v. State, 179 Neb. 628, 139 N.W.2d 541 (1966).

Levy of tax for municipal university did not violate free elections clause. Ratigan v. Davis, 175 Neb. 416, 122 N.W.2d 12 (1963).

Holding an election shortly after a blizzard did not operate as a hindrance or impediment to the right to vote. Peterson v. Cook, 175 Neb. 296, 121 N.W.2d 399 (1963).

Requirement that candidate for office of member of State Railway Commission be not less than thirty years of age does not violate this section. State ex rel. Quinn v. Marsh, 141 Neb. 436, 3 N.W.2d 892 (1942).

Offer of federal government to aid in remodeling of schoolhouse does not invalidate school district election to vote bonds for that purpose. Taxpayers League v. Benthack, 136 Neb. 277, 285 N.W. 577 (1939).

Requirement of Australian Ballot Law that signatures of two judges of election shall be on back of each ballot, is not inimical to constitutional provisions. Swan v. Bowker, 135 Neb. 405, 281 N.W. 891 (1938).

A statute substituting a municipal court for justice of peace courts which excludes electors outside of city but within jurisdiction of municipal court from voting for municipal judge, contravenes constitutional provision. State ex rel. Wright v. Brown, 131 Neb. 239, 267 N.W. 466 (1936).

Statute prohibiting candidate defeated at primary from filing by petition in general election next following is constitutional. State ex rel. Driscoll v. Swanson, 127 Neb. 715, 256 N.W. 872 (1934).

Statute restricting the right to petition for recall of city officers to voters whose names appear upon the registration list is not violative of this section. State ex rel. Miller v. Berg, 97 Neb. 63, 149 N.W. 61 (1914).

Election commissioner is required to accept statements of voter under oath as true and register him as a voter. State ex rel. Williams v. Moorhead, 96 Neb. 559, 148 N.W. 552 (1914).

Following this section, the law makes county clerk liable to forfeit his office and to be fined and imprisoned if he neglects to furnish correct ballots. Wahlquist v. Adams County, 94 Neb. 682, 144 N.W. 171 (1913).

To preserve right of voter at general election, it is not necessary that name of candidate should appear on ballot more than once, nor that he be described as member of more than one political party, as no party can be compelled to put forth as its candidate one who does not affiliate with it. State ex rel. Curyea v. Wells, 92 Neb. 337, 138 N.W. 165 (1912).

The right of every voter to vote a straight ticket for the candidates of his party is guaranteed and any attempt by deception or otherwise to deprive him of that right is a violation of the Constitution. State ex rel. Nebraska Republican State Central Committee v. Wait, 92 Neb. 313, 138 N.W. 159 (1912).

Legislature may control and regulate official ballot and manner of selection of names to be printed thereon, but cannot abolish nor prevent their formation, nor prevent free and open discussion of qualifications and fitness for office. State ex rel. Ragan v. Junkin, 85 Neb. 1, 122 N.W. 473 (1909).

In creation of drainage districts requirement that officers shall be elected by freeholders only does not violate Constitution. State ex rel. Harris v. Hanson, 80 Neb. 738, 117 N.W. 412 (1908).

Legislature may provide for election of officers not named in Constitution by means other than popular vote. State ex rel. Harris v. Hanson, 80 Neb. 724, 115 N.W. 294 (1908).

Where statutes require that ballot be signed by two judges of election, voter cannot be deprived of vote because some ballots were in good faith signed by clerk. Bingham v. Broadwell, 73 Neb. 605, 103 N.W. 323 (1905).

Electors of city cannot be deprived of right to vote for public officer because of failure of Legislature to make special provision for such election. State ex rel. Gordon v. Moores, 70 Neb. 48, 96 N.W. 1011 (1903), affirmed on rehearing 70 Neb. 56, 99 N.W. 504 (1904).

The requirements of the Australian Ballot Law that the names or signatures of the two judges of an election shall be written on the back of each ballot to be used, and that a ballot not so endorsed shall be void, and not counted, are mandatory, and are not inimical to constitutional provisions. Orr v. Bailey, 59 Neb. 128, 80 N.W. 495 (1899).