NEBRASKA LEGISLATURE

The official site of the Nebraska Unicameral Legislature

Steve Erdman

Sen. Steve Erdman

District 47

The content of these pages is developed and maintained by, and is the sole responsibility of, the individual senator's office and may not reflect the views of the Nebraska Legislature. Questions and comments about the content should be directed to the senator's office at serdman@leg.ne.gov

Welcome
January 5th, 2022

Thank you for visiting my website. It is an honor to represent the people of the 47th legislative district in the Nebraska Unicameral Legislature.

You’ll find my contact information on the right side of this page, as well as a list of the bills I’ve introduced this session and the committees on which I serve. Please feel free to contact me and my staff about proposed legislation or any other issues you would like to address.

Sincerely,
Sen. Steve Erdman

Straight Talk From Steve…
November 28th, 2022

Did you enjoy your Thanksgiving dinner this year? Perhaps, you noticed that this year’s menu may not have include deviled eggs. That’s because grocery store shelves have been empty and grocers have been struggling to find eggs to sell.

Nebraska has been the second hardest state hit by the avian bird flu this year. We are second only to Iowa. Because a new outbreak of the avian bird flu was detected in Dixon County in Northeast Nebraska last Saturday, the State will now have to euthanize another 1.8 million egg-laying hens.

According to Wells Fargo, the price of eggs has already jumped 32 percent this year. That’s a very significant increase, especially when you compare the price of eggs to the price of fruits and vegetables which have only risen seven percent this year.

Grocers are blaming their egg shortages on the avian bird flu, which continues to wipe out millions of Nebraska’s chickens. Prior to the current outbreak in Dixon County, Nebraska had already euthanized some 6.8 million chickens. But the egg shortage is also a national crisis. So far this year 50 million chickens have had to be euthanized in 46 states. Iowa had to put down 15.5 million birds.

But blaming the egg shortage entirely upon the avian bird flu doesn’t exactly tell the whole story. In recent years it has become popular for states to ban the sale of eggs from caged hens; thus, reducing the number of eggs for sale. Seven states have already passed laws to ban the sale of eggs from caged chickens and Colorado is set to go next.

Colorado legislators passed HB20-1343 a couple of years ago, which is an Act forbidding the sale of eggs from caged hens beginning January 1, 2023. Because Colorado is home to some six million egg producing hens, the law had to be modified to allow farm owners more time to make the transition to cage-free housing. Farm owners in Colorado now have two years to install scratch areas, perches, nesting boxes, and areas for dust bathing in order to comply with their new state law. Nevertheless, by 2025 all eggs for sale in Colorado will come from cage-free hens.

Because seven states have already enacted these kinds of new cage-free egg laws, it is difficult to know how much this kind of legislation has contributed to the current egg shortage. Those states which have already enacted laws against selling caged-eggs are Arizona, California, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington. What we do know, though, is that these new laws are not helping the current situation.

Adding insult to injury, is the fact that some people have already begun to hoard eggs. Some people are buying eggs in order to hoard them for later consumption. The current egg shortage is rapidly turning out to look very similar to the toilet paper shortage of 2020, and that is not good.

Eggs are an important staple in the American diet. Eggs have always been cheap. They are also an excellent source of protein and other important nutrients, such a B and D vitamins. So, whenever the price of eggs goes up, it affects those with low incomes the most. Many Americans simply cannot afford to pay exorbitant prices for a carton of cage-free eggs.

 

Straight Talk From Steve…
November 17th, 2022

Some of you can still remember the old television detective show, Dragnet. Sgt. Joe Friday’s most famous line on that TV show was, “just the facts ma’am!” The implication of that statement was that good police work derives its conclusions from facts, not from opinions. In the same mentality of Sgt. Joe Friday today I would like to share with you “just the facts” about what some like to refer to as the nonpartisan Unicameral Legislature.

When the Unicameral Legislature was created back in 1937, George Norris convinced State legislators that the success of a Unicameral Legislature would depend upon legislators working together harmoniously in a nonpartisan way. But Sen. George Norris’s desire for the Unicameral Legislature turned out to be nothing more than wishful thinking. The Unicameral Legislature has been partisan ever since its inception and it will continue to be partisan in the future.

That the Unicameral Legislature is a partisan body, and not a nonpartisan body, is not something that you have to take from me. All you have to do is open up and read the headlines of any Nebraska newspaper following the election on November 8. Nearly every newspaper referred to the Unicameral Legislature in partisan terms. For example, On November 9 the Scotts Bluff Star Herald ran a story entitled, “Balance of power in Nebraska Legislature tips in favor of Republicans.” On November 9 another article written by Paul Hammel appeared in the Nebraska Examiner with the headline, “Republicans may have gained a filibuster-proof majority in Nebraska Legislature.” Then, on November 11 an article written by Martha Stoddard in the Omaha World Herald contained the headline, “Lead Change in Omaha legislative race jeopardizes GOP hopes of filibuster-proof majority.” Perhaps, someone forgot to tell the media that the Unicameral Legislature is nonpartisan! For once the media may have got it right.

As you can see, not one of these headlines gave any indication whatsoever that the Unicameral Legislature is a nonpartisan body! Instead, each headline insinuated the partisan nature of the Unicameral Legislature. If the Unicameral Legislature really is supposed to be a nonpartisan body, then its political make-up should be of no concern to those in the press. But, as you can clearly see, journalists in Nebraska care deeply about the political make-up of the State Legislature because they know that political Parties matter in the State Legislature.

To be sure, there really is no such thing as a nonpartisan Legislature no matter what George Norris ever said. No nonpartisan Legislature has ever existed anywhere in America. This is a political fact, and it remains a fact even though some people like to say otherwise.

If you read each of the news articles mentioned above, you will see how concerned our reporters are about how many Republicans and how many Democrats get elected to the State Legislature. The idea that any Political Party should ever gain a filibuster proof majority only matters when one truly believes that the State Legislature is a partisan body.

So, if it is true that the Unicameral Legislature really is a nonpartisan body, then the orientation for the newly elected senators, which occurred last week, would not have had to spend a significant amount of time trying to explain what the word “nonpartisan” really means. Something that is true by way of definition or by nature should not have to be explained, but what really happened last week was a matter of indoctrination. Those who presented the talks during the orientation hoped to convince our newly elected Senators that it is an unpardonable sin to act in a partisan ways.

Let’s just say that the real number of those who believe that Nebraska has a nonpartisan Legislature is less than those in Pennsylvania who voted for John Fetterman for the U.S. Senate! The reality is that the Unicameral Legislature is a partisan body and it has always been a partisan body. It is time for State Senators to admit that fact, to pull up their big boy pants or big girl pants, and move on with the business of the State!

If you wonder why we can’t pass very simple legislation like placing our national motto which appears on our coins and on our currency as “in God we trust” in our schools, the answer is that the Unicameral Legislature is a partisan body which is controlled in many ways by a 35 percent partisan minority! And, those are “just the facts, ma’am.”

Straight Talk From Steve…
November 10th, 2022

When it comes to Nebraska’s tax incentive programs, the costs outweigh the benefits. What the State of Nebraska needs is total tax reform, not more incentive programs for businesses. So, today I would like to shed some light on how much Nebraska’s tax incentive programs have been hurting the taxpayers of our State.

The Nebraska Advantage Act was passed back in 2005 primarily as a means for keeping Con Agra headquartered in Omaha. The program did not work. In 2015 the State of Illinois wooed Con Agra to their state by offering the company an even better tax incentive program through their state’s Economic Development for a Growing Economy (EDGE) program. Illinois offered Con Agra $630,000 per year in tax credits if it moved at least 150 jobs to Illinois for the next 15 years.

The Nebraska Department of Revenue recently released a report on Nebraska’s tax incentive programs and the numbers do not look good. From January 1, 2006 through June 30, 2022 businesses have earned almost $1.8 billion in tax credits through the Nebraska Advantage Act. During that same period of time businesses have cashed in on almost $910 million in tax credits. According to the report, there remains about $850 million in outstanding tax credits yet to be used. That’s a lot of money out of the State’s coffers.

Whenever businesses cash in on these kinds of tax credits, taxpayers always feel the pain. The incentives offered through the Nebraska Advantage Act and the ImagiNe Nebraska Act come in the form of tax credits. So, whenever businesses use their tax credits, it leaves a gigantic hole in the amount of revenue coming into the state. Whenever that happens the State has to fill in the gap. Theoretically, these businesses could cash in all of their remaining $850 million in outstanding tax credits in a single year and devastate our State Budget.

These tax incentive programs make it difficult to create a state-wide budget. Because I serve on the Legislature’s Appropriations committee, I see first-hand what kind of havoc these incentive programs wreak on our state budget. Because those of us who serve on the Appropriations Committee never know when businesses plan to use their tax credits, crafting the state budget always becomes a kind of guessing game for lawmakers in Lincoln.

Those who advocate for these kinds of incentive programs for businesses like to tout about how many new jobs they bring into Nebraska each year. But the number of new jobs created by these incentive programs does not justify the expense. For example, the report indicates that these tax incentive programs have created 1,754 new jobs each year. If we estimate that each new worker would pay the State roughly $4,000 annually in income taxes and sales taxes, it would take the State the next 21 years for these new jobs to finally pay for themselves.

According the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Nebraska has the fourth lowest unemployment rate in the nation set at 2.2 percent. Businesses are begging for employees and we see help wanted signs everywhere we travel around the State. Nebraska does not have enough workforce to sustain our current workforce needs. So, even if these incentive programs were to create another 1,754 new jobs, there is no guarantee that there would be qualified employees waiting in line to fill these jobs.

What Nebraska really needs is total tax reform. People living in Nebraska continue to suffer under our State’s heavy tax burden and broken tax system. Tax incentive programs for businesses, such as the Nebraska Advantage Act and the ImagiNE Nebraska Act do absolutely nothing to help the average taxpayer and they leave businesses worrying about when they might have to move to another state with a better tax incentive program. I believe businesses will want move to Nebraska once Nebraska adopts the best tax code in the nation, and the EPIC Option Consumption Tax remains the best answer to Nebraska tax problem.

Straight Talk From Steve…
October 31st, 2022

Veterans Day is November 11. Veterans Day is a special day Americans set aside every year to honor those who have served our country faithfully in the armed forces. However, Veterans Day does not end on November 12. Honoring our veterans is something that should be done every day.

Unfortunately, not all Americans see it this way. In recent years there has been a surge in discrimination cases against our military personnel, so today I would like to take some time to expose what has been going on and offer some insight about how to counter it.

The last place one would ever expect to find discrimination against military personnel and veterans is in the military, yet that is what is occurring right here in Nebraska! The U.S. Air Force has been ordered to pay David Bighia of Bellevue, a 16-year Army Reserve veteran, one million dollars plus back pay and lawyer’s fees by November 29 for unlawfully denying him a job as a military historian.

Bighia’s finances have been completely destroyed. An EEOC judge ruled back in December of 2021 that the U.S. Air Force violated the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 when it reneged on a job offer and refused to make “reasonable accommodation” for Bighia’s medical condition. Although Bighia won his lawsuit, the U.S. Air Force decided to stall on paying him out even though a second judge ruled in Bighia’s favor in June of this year. As a result, Bighia’s house, which he purchased with a VA loan, is in foreclosure and he has had to file for bankruptcy.

The situation is worse with civilian employers. Between 2004 and 2020 the Justice Department filed 109 lawsuits against civilian employers for discriminating against military personnel. Walmart settled a class action suit for $14 million in 2021. During this same period hundreds of more complaints were filed with the U.S. Justice Department under the Uniform Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994.

Employers have been paying out millions of dollars in recent years in order to settle these cases out of court, and it has cost the federal government hundreds of thousands of dollars to defend our military personnel and veterans. According to Diedre Brou, an assistant U.S. attorney for the Justice Department’s Service Members and Veterans Initiative, 80 percent of these cases get resolved informally while other employers choose to dig in their heels and fight. Unfortunately, some employers have found that it is more lucrative to discriminate against our military personnel and veterans than to abide by the law, and that is just unamerican.

Those who get deployed to defend our country should not have to face discrimination at home. So, if you are a serviceman or servicewoman who has been discriminated against in the workforce because of your military status, know that help is available. The place to begin is at the U.S. Department of Justice. Just visit their website at: https://www.justice.gov/servicemembers/how-we-can-help.

When you see a soldier or a veteran this week remember to thank him or her for their service to our country. Without their service in the armed forces none of us would be free. They protect our way of life. There is no one more noble in America than the one who has risked both life and limb for the cause of our country. Remember this about our veterans: All gave some, but some gave all.

Straight Talk From Steve…
October 28th, 2022

Petrol, diesel price today: Fuel prices hike again after a day's gap ...

America’s diesel supplies are running dangerously low. As of October 14, the United States had only 25.4 days left of its diesel supply, according to the Energy Information Administration (EIA). Then, on October 21 stockpiles of diesel reached their lowest point ever for this time of year, at least ever since the EIA began tracking this kind of data back in 1982.

Western Nebraska runs on diesel. The trains that cross our state all have diesel engines, the trucks that haul our goods on I-80 all have diesel engines, military vehicles run on diesel, and much of our farm equipment runs on diesel. Diesel is preferable to gasoline because its density means that it puts out more energy per unit than gasoline.

Prices for a gallon of diesel have already begun to skyrocket. Texas has the lowest average price per gallon in the nation at $4.76. The average price per gallon in Nebraska is $5.14, but in California it is $6.39. On average, diesel fuel is $2.00 more per gallon than it was a year ago, but if this trend continues the price will go much higher.

The diesel crisis has put the United States in a vulnerable position. Earlier this month OPEC decided to cut oil production by 2 million barrels per day beginning in November despite pressure from the Biden Administration to do otherwise. OPEC’s decision prompted the Biden Administration to announce their intention to release another 15 million barrels of oil from the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve in order to alleviate the current crisis. But the Biden Administration had already released 180 million barrels. So, releasing another 15 million barrels of oil from our Strategic Oil Reserves will only further weaken us as a nation. This action will put our Strategic Oil Reserves at a 40-year low and put our country in a very vulnerable position against our enemies.

The future does not look good. President Biden has indicated that he has no intention of replacing the oil in our strategic reserves until the price falls to $70 per barrel. At the close of last week, Brent crude oil was selling at around $96 per barrel. Don’t expect the diesel crisis to be solved anytime soon either. Futures prices for ultra-low sulfur diesel (ULSD) delivered in New York Harbor for the month of December are already trading at 61 percent higher than a year ago.

The American people will suffer from the diesel crisis, not the oil companies. Shell Oil, for example, announced last Thursday that its third quarter profit nearly broke the company’s record at $9.45 billion. Shell boosted its dividend to shareholders by 15 percent and announced plans to buy back another $4 billion worth of company stock over the next three months.

The diesel crisis means that Americans will continue to see higher prices at the store. The federal government’s preferred way of measuring inflation is through the Personal Consumption Expenditures price index, which climbed 6.2 percent in September. Even if you strip out food and fuel, which can be volatile, prices still climbed by 5.1 percent over the past year. Because the Fed’s target for inflation is set at 2 percent, we are now running 4.2 percent higher than where we need to be. When added into the equation, the diesel crisis becomes a ticking timebomb for out-of-control inflation down the road.

This economy could soon be worse than the 1970’s. If there is a difference between the oil embargo of the 1970’s and the current diesel crisis in America, it is that we were busy stocking our Strategic Petroleum Reserve in the 1970’s. The Strategic Petroleum Reserve was created in 1975 in order to protect the United States against another oil embargo, but now that our supplies are dwindling, OPEC is cutting oil production, and the Biden Administration is not replenishing our oil supply, our situation could soon be worse than it was in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s. Elections have consequences.

Brian Hardin Endorsement
October 24th, 2022

State Senator Steve Erdman endorses Brian Hardin for Legislature.

I appreciate all of the candidates who have stepped forward this year to run for public office, especially those interested in serving in the Nebraska State Legislature. I have often been asked who I support in the race for Legislative District 48.

After visiting with both candidates and watching the forum held on October 11, I believe Brian Hardin has a more thorough understanding of the issues that are most relevant for the 48th district. Brian’s ability to speak to these issues in a clear and concise manner will also serve him well as a State Senator. Brian’s traditional roots growing up on a farm in Mitchell Valley as well as his diverse background will enable him to bring to the State Legislature the unique skill set needed to represent District 48 as well as all of Western Nebraska. For these reasons I am hereby endorsing Brian Hardin for the Nebraska State Legislature.

Straight Talk From Steve…
October 20th, 2022

Texas Woman Voted Illegally in 2016 Election, Gets Sentenced to Five ...

Abraham Lincoln once said about elections that “It is the people’s business – the election is in their hands. If they turn their backs to the fire, and get scorched in the rear, they’ll find that they have got to ‘sit’ on the ‘blister’.” In many ways that is how I feel about the election this year.

There is so much at stake in the general election on November 8 that it is hard for me to fathom why some people would choose not to cast their vote. When we choose not to vote, we are essentially allowing others to choose the path forward for our country, for our state, for our counties, and even for our local communities.

While most counties in the Panhandle have a good record for turning out the vote, there are some counties that do not fare so well. Those counties in the Panhandle which turned out the highest percentage of registered voters for the 2022 May 10 primary election were Arthur County at 60 percent, Garden County at 57 percent, and Morrill County at 54.6 percent. To the contrary, those counties with the lowest voter turnout were Cheyenne County at 26 percent, Scotts Bluff County at 22 percent, and Box Butte County at only 20 percent.

One of the reasons why this election is so important relates to the education of our children. Voters on November 8 will have the opportunity to vote for who should represent them on the State Board of Education, which has been running out of control for several years now, especially in regards to reforming the State’s standards on sex education. The situation at the State Board of Education is so bad that last week I, along with a group of other like-minded Senators from across the State, had to call for an investigation in regards to the teaching of Critical Race Theory in our schools. Voters have the opportunity to effect change for the better and to begin the process of weeding out CRT from our education system simply by voting on November 8.

Another important issue relates to ballot initiatives that will appear on your ballot this year. One of those ballot measures relates to voter identification. Once passed by voters, Initiative 432 would require voters to show a valid photo identification card whenever they vote. In order to protect the integrity of our elections, voter identification has become essential. However, this ballot measure is not without its problems. Because many voters in the Panhandle vote through the mail, State Senators would get tasked with the very difficult problem of having to work out how voter identification would work with mail-in ballots, and that is not an easy problem to solve.

Another important ballot initiative relates to raising the minimum wage. Initiative 433 would raise the State’s minimum wage incrementally each year until it finally peaks at $15.00 per hour in the year 2026. Historically, raising the minimum wage has never worked. The reason that it does not work is because it is impossible to successfully tax businesses. Businesses in a capitalistic economy always pass their taxes onto consumers in the form of higher prices, and it is no different with the minimum wage. Minimum wage laws force businesses to pass on their added expenses to consumers in the form of high prices. In other words, raising the minimum wage would raise everyone’s cost of living through inflation, and the last thing Americans need right now is to worsen the problem of inflation that is already plaguing the American economy.

For these reasons and more citizens in the Panhandle need to vote in the November 8 election. My hope and my prayer is that no county in the Nebraska Panhandle should see a voter turnout of less than fifty percent of registered voters this year for the general election. Then, on November 9, I, like many of you, will rejoice that all of the lawn signs and political commercials on television will finally come to an end.

Straight Talk From Steve…
October 14th, 2022

The new ACT scores for the class of 2022 were released last week and the scores do not look good for Nebraska. Nebraska’s composite score fell to 19.4, which is below the national average of 19.8. More importantly, though, is how Nebraska’s ACT composite scores have been falling over the course of the last five years. For instance, in 2017 Nebraska’s composite score was 21.4, then in 2018 it fell to 20.1, in 2019 it was 20.0, and last year it was 20.0 again. Nebraska hasn’t seen test scores this low in a decade.

While some may choose to blame the pandemic for these falling test scores, the real culprit is that we are spending less time stressing English, Reading, Math and Science, which are all subjects measured by the ACT, and more time stressing subjects that do not contribute to student success. Last year we saw how the State Board of Education tried to reform the State’s sex education curriculum with extremist Left-wing ideology about gender identity and sexual orientation. This year the problem lies with Critical Race Theory (CRT).

The Nebraska Department of Education has been pushing CRT in our public schools. Last year the Department of Education put a link to the CRT Toolbox on their webpage for teachers to have easy access to the CRT materials. The link only recently disappeared. So, on Monday I joined Sen. Dave Murman of Glenvil in calling for an investigation into the Nebraska Department of Education for promoting the teaching of CRT in Nebraska’s public schools.

Critical Race Theory distorts the facts about America’s foundation, its history and its heritage in order to promote an extremist Left-wing narrative about racism in America. While there is no question that racism has been part of America’s past, it is wrong to distort the facts about our history and to teach those distorted facts to our school children.

In order to help you see how Critical Race Theory distorts the facts about America’s past, one needs to look no further than how Howard Zinn, the founder of the Zinn Education Project, a popular Critical Race Theory program, has distorted the facts about Christopher Columbus in his book, “A People’s History of the United States.”

Howard Zinn intentionally maligned the good character of Christopher Columbus in his book in order to mislead his readers into thinking that Columbus was only interested in getting rich. On the second page of his book he wrote about Christopher Columbus’s first encounter with the Arawak Indians of the Bahamas. Zinn insinuated that Christopher Columbus was only interested in finding gold, for he wrote: “The information Columbus wanted most was: Where is the gold?” Zinn clearly wanted his readers to conclude that Columbus was only in it for the money.

But, contrary to the very uninformed and biased opinion of Howard Zinn, Columbus described the primary purpose of his voyage across the Atlantic Ocean much differently. According to Columbus, his primary purpose was not the pursuit of gold; instead, it was evangelism. Zinn conveniently left out the fact that Columbus had described the primary purpose of his voyage in his own personal log as to “…bring the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the heathens.” Zinn also conveniently left out the fact that Columbus had forbidden his men to trade broken pieces of glass and pottery for gold with the Indians, and he conveniently left out the fact that Columbus died as a penniless man in South America – hardly the actions of a greedy, gold-digging explorer!

Nebraska’s students need to learn the objective facts of American history, not the very biased narrative presented by the advocates of Critical Race Theory. Critical Race Theory is laced with an extremist Left-wing agenda that is designed to convince all American students that the United States of America is an evil empire built on the faulty foundation of racism, and that is not an accurate portrayal of our history, our foundation, or our heritage.

If CRT is allowed to be taught in our schools, students will get a very twisted view of racism in American history. Critical Race Theory hides the fact that colonial Americans tried to pass anti-slavery laws but they were vetoed by King George III, that the Quakers of Pennsylvania founded the first abolitionist society in America as early as 1775, a year before the signing of the Declaration of Independence, and that Benjamin Franklin spent the last three decades of his life educating black students in Philadelphia and that he petitioned Congress in 1790 to abolish slavery.

 

Santa Maria, Nina and Pinta of Christopher Columbus. Computer generated ...

I would like to thank Sen. Dave Murman for calling this press conference. Parents, not educators, are responsible for the teaching of children. Public schools should educate children on the facts of history, not indoctrinate them with Critical Race Theory, which deliberately distorts these facts in order to push an erroneous Left-wing, Woke narrative about our nation’s founding, its history, and its heritage. Due to the recent underhanded tactics of the Department of Education to reform Nebraska’s sex-ed curriculum, I believe an investigation into the teaching CRT in Nebraska’s public schools is now warranted.

Straight Talk From Steve…
October 12th, 2022

The general election will be held on November 8. Please make it a point to vote. As the election date
nears, the matter of election integrity is once again taking center stage. Election integrity has become
such an important issue to so many Nebraska voters that today I would like to address some of the core
issues which are challenging the integrity of Nebraska’s elections.

First, the Nebraska Legislature has a lot of work to do to make our elections more secure. Issues such as
voter ID implementation and verification of citizenship are lacking. So, there is no question that the
Legislature needs to pass better laws to make our elections more secure.

When I first came to the State Legislature six years ago, we tried to pass legislation to protect the
integrity of Nebraska’s elections. Sen. John Murante was the chair of the Government, Military and
Veterans Affairs Committee back in those days, and in 2018 he introduced LB 1066, a bill requiring
voters to show a photo ID at the polls. Sen. Murante argued that the time to act for election security
was now before election integrity ever became a problem in our state. Sen. Murante was right! But, LB
1066 died in committee that year.

Those who opposed the bill argued that it would have excluded some people from voting. For example,
when Lincoln Senator Adam Morfeld was asked by radio host Coby Mach on KLIN radio about who
would be excluded from voting, he had to refer to a person in Wisconsin to find a single example. He
cited a man who he said had been born at home, never had birth certificate, never drove a car, never
worked a regular job, and who continued to live completely off the grid. Consequently, State Senators
allowed the interests of an extremely small segment of the population to dictate election policy for the
rest of us that year. So much for majority rule!

Since the presidential election of 2020 voter fraud has become a major issue. Many Americans believe
that the 2020 election was stolen, and evidence continues to mount suggesting that we have a problem
on our hands. For example, last week Eugene Yu, the CEO of Konnech, was arrested on allegations of
storing critical election information gleaned from poll workers on servers in China.

One of the primary worries of election integrity in Nebraska relates to how we count our ballots. While
each county in Nebraska is responsible for counting its own ballots, the use of ballot counting machines
is mandated by state law and use of these machines has been called into question.

Nebraska currently uses ES&S ballot counting machines. Although these machines came to us without
modems installed and the Secretary of State has been careful to have these machines inspected before
each election, something as small as a microchip secretly implanted in the machine’s motherboard is
all that it takes to change the outcome of an election. For this reason, many Nebraskans are now calling
for the State to return to the days of counting paper ballots by hand.

As you can see, there are many issues concerning election integrity that the State Legislature still needs
to address. Election integrity should not be a partisan issue. As a Nebraska State Senator, I understand
that Nebraskans need to have faith in our elections, that the people need to know that their votes will
be counted accurately, and that appropriate legislative actions still need to be taken to eliminate
election fraud. Please know that I will continue to work with the State Legislature to make Nebraska’s
elections fair, honest and secure.

Sen. Steve Erdman

District 47
Room 1124
P.O. Box 94604
Lincoln, NE 68509
(402) 471-2616
Email: serdman@leg.ne.gov
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