Saturday, August 13, 2022


Voting-rights groups sue AZ to block 'Election Security' Bills; U.S House vote expected today on the new Inflation Reduction Act; the Attorney General moves to release details on search of Trump s home.


Local election officials detail how election misinformation is fueling threats; Media outlets ask a court to unseal the search warrant of Donald Trump's home; and the CDC changes its approach to COVID-19.


Infrastructure funding is on its way, ranchers anticipate money from the Inflation Reduction Act, and rural America is becoming more diverse, but you wouldn't know it by looking at the leadership.

Nebraskans Can Give Feedback on New Voter District Maps Next Week


Thursday, September 9, 2021   

LINCOLN, Neb. -- Next week, Nebraska lawmakers will hold three public hearings on how new voter maps should be drawn for the state's 49 districts.

Good-government groups are urging state senators to protect the voting rights of all Nebraskans, and to be transparent about how data from the 2020 census is driving their decisions.

Sam Petto, communications director for the ACLU of Nebraska, encouraged voters to make their voices heard, because what might sound like a wonkish process will impact peoples' lives for the next decade.

"The drawing of these lines is going to determine not only just who runs for public office," Petto explained. "But also how financial resources are allocated; funding for our schools, hospitals, infrastructure, roads and bridges."

Hearings are set for Grand Island on Tuesday at the Central Community College; at the state Capitol building in Lincoln on Wednesday, and at Omaha's Scott Conference Center on Thursday next week. The hearings are a part of a brief special legislative session that aims to finalize new voting maps by the end of this month.

Petto noted his group will also be on the lookout for any signs of gerrymandering in new maps, a tactic used by majority parties to carve out districts in order to tilt election outcomes in their favor. He pointed out a clear sign of politicians putting their own self-interest ahead of communities is when they disregard standards that they promised to follow, and are often enshrined into law.

"Keeping communities of interest together, preserving counties wherever possible, and making sure that you are not trying to intentionally dilute the voting power of Nebraskans of color," Petto outlined. "Anything to that effect would be a red flag."

Polling conducted earlier this year found a strong majority of Nebraskans, across party lines, want to see districts drawn fairly, and voters do not want partisan politics to interfere with the process.

Petto reported voters made this point especially clear when asked how they would feel if their senator rigged maps to benefit their own political party.

"Nebraskans said, 'I don't want that, I'd be more likely to vote against a politician who did that, even if it helped my own party,'" Petto recounted. "Nebraskans are really clear that they are just looking for a fair process, and now it's on state senators to make sure that's what they do."

Disclosure: ACLU of Nebraska contributes to our fund for reporting on Civil Rights, Criminal Justice, Immigrant Issues, and Social Justice. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.

get more stories like this via email
A new report finds the number of Granite State children living in single-parent families has risen slightly, from 27% in the years 2008-2012 to 29% in the years 2016-2020. (Kelberpicui/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

New Hampshire ranks second in the country on measures of child well-being, according to the new 2022 Kids Count Data Book from the Annie E. Casey …

Social Issues

Massachusetts ranks first in the nation for children's well-being, according to the 2022 Kids Count Data Book from the Annie E. Casey Foundation…

Social Issues

Minnesota once again gets a high ranking among states for child well-being, but an annual report says the state's disparities remain a challenge…

An annual report on child well-being finds Iowa has some stronger results in education, including the percentage of high school students graduating on time. But certain proficiency metrics drag down the state's overall performance. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

Some measurements of children's well-being show warning signs in Iowa in the area of education. The numbers contrast with Iowa's overall ranking in a …

Health and Wellness

Nearly a dozen Iowa youths with disabilities are taking newly developed leadership skills out into the world. A summer academy wrapped up this month…

The J.H. Baxter Co.'s wood mill was closed earlier this year after complaints that it had dumped cancer-causing toxins into the air and soil in nearby neighborhoods. (Crag Law Center)


A coalition of community organizations teamed up in Oregon to force a chronic polluter out of business, and bring environmental justice to a nearby …

Health and Wellness

During National Health Center Week, health-care advocates are highlighting the work Community Health Centers are doing to improve access to care …

Health and Wellness

Health advocates are hailing the new Inflation Reduction Act, saying it would be the biggest health-care reform since the Affordable Care Act…


Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright © 2021