Questions of the Week – Readers ask about voter ID requirements, county bridge project, local Candy Cane Hunt

The following questions were asked this week on the Wonderlic:


Q: I’ve been hearing from local people about their concerns with election integrity. But we now have voter identification requirements in Nebraska. When will Nebraska’s voter ID requirement begin?
A: The first election requiring voter ID will be the May 14, 2024 statewide primary election. All special and statewide elections after this date will require voter ID, according to the Nebraska Secretary of State office.

The secretary of state also provides the following Q/A to help through the process:

What identification can be used to vote? The Secretary of State says IDs must have the voter’s name and photo. These forms of ID can include: Nebraska driver’s license or state ID; passport; military ID; tribal ID; hospital, assisted living or nursing home record; Nebraska college or university ID.

What if I forget my ID on election day? You will fill out a provisional ballot. For your ballot to count, you will need to present an acceptable form of photo ID to your county election office on or before the Tuesday after the election.

Who do I vote with voter ID? For voting in person, you will present a valid photo ID. For voting early in your county election office, you will present a valid photo ID. For voting early by mail, you will write your driver’s license or state ID number on the ballot application or you can enclose a copy of your valid photo ID or reasonable impediment certification with your application. For voting by mail in all-mail precincts or by-mail special elections, you will write your driver’s license or state ID number on the ballot return envelope or you can enclose a copy of your valid photo ID or reasonable impediment certification in your ballot return envelope.

What if I can’t afford an ID? You can get a free state ID for voting purposes at the Nebraska DMV. You will need to bring documents confirming your identity and your address when applying for a state ID. If you are missing your Nebraska birth certificate in order to get a free state ID for voting purposes, you can get a free certified copy of your birth certificate from the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services. You cannot use your birth certificate to vote.

What if I can’t get an ID? If you have a reasonable impediment, you can complete a certification instead of presenting a valid photo ID. Reasonable impediments are inability to obtain a valid ID due to disability, illness, lack of birth certificate or other required documents, or a religious objection to being photographed.

The Nebraska Secretary of State’s office says it will continue to provide information about the new voter ID law as the first election requiring such nears.


Q: I want to say thank you to the York County Commissioners for using ARPA funds for replacing some bridges in the county. That is a great use of that money. I also appreciate the commissioners’ recognition that in rebuilding these old bridges, they also need to be made wide enough and sturdy enough to accommodate today’s modern farming equipment. My question is when will the next set of bridges be closed for reconstruction?

A: The bid from Norfolk Contracting Inc., which was accepted for the latest bridge project, indicates the tentative start date is March 18, 2024.


Q: Kind of a strange question for this time of year, but we were talking about making donations next year for different causes and we were curious as to how much it costs for York’s Firecracker Frenzy fireworks show?

A: The fixed costs of the show, in 2022, came to about $25,000, which included the liability insurance associated with the pyrotechnic license and shipping costs. The cost lingers around that mark each year, but obviously will likely increase each year with inflation.


Q: Will York be having a Candy Cane Hunt again this year?

A: The answer is joyously yes! The Candy Cane Hunt and Cookie Decorating event will be held Saturday, Dec. 9, at 10 a.m., at East Hill Park. It will be followed by the cookie decorating with take-home packs to be made available. This event is free to the public. It is sponsored by York Young Professionals and York Parks and Recreation.


Q: Who determines the plea agreements in our local court system?

A: Plea agreements are negotiated between the defense attorneys and the county attorney’s office.


Q: Who created the candy cane and why?

A: One well-regarded story suggests that in 1670, a choirmaster in Cologne, Germany, gave out sugar sticks to the children as a way to soothe them during the long nativity ceremony. The choirmaster asked a local candy maker for the sugar sticks to be turned into a hook so they resemble the shape of a shepherd’s staff.

The color red was incorporated as a reminder of Jesus’ suffering.

It became a Christmas tradition which later on became a retail product for the season.


Q: How many churches are in York County?

A: According to the York County Ministerial Alliance, there are currently 32 churches in York County.


Q: This time of year, my grandma always brought out the dates and used them in different recipes. What exactly is a date? Where do they come from/how do they grow?

A: Dates grow on trees, big trees called date palms. They are native to the Middle East. They grow in large clusters, kind of like bunches of grapes which hang higher than 50 feet off the ground.


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