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Editorial: Let's remove slavery mention from Nebraska's Constitution

Editorial: Let's remove slavery mention from Nebraska's Constitution

Watch the process of filling out and dropping off your early voting ballot in Nebraska.

The Nebraska Constitution contains a surprising provision that says slavery or involuntary servitude can be used as punishment for those convicted of a crime. This strange section of Nebraska’s fundamental governing document demands rejection and removal by voters.

Amendment 1 on the November ballot would accomplish that needed task.

Some states used similar provisions to enable convict leasing. In the Deep South, such practices led to outrageous abuse of inmates working under horrendous conditions, spurring congressional investigations and national condemnation.

Nebraska’s capital is named after Abraham Lincoln, the president who signed the Emancipation Proclamation, the landmark pronouncement that the Civil War was fought to secure a deeply moral goal: ending the bondage and abuse of 4 million enslaved adults and children.

In 2020, let’s make clear that present-day Nebraskans stand together in ridding our Constitution of this bizarre nod to slavery. Let’s vote FOR Amendment 1 to send that needed moral statement.

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