More Than 217,000 Nebraskans Have Already Voted
By Becca Costello, NET News
Oct. 15, 2020, 1:29 p.m. ·
More than 217,000 Nebraskans have already cast a ballot in the upcoming general election, part of the 17.5 million Americans who have voted about three weeks before election day.
Nebraskans were already able to vote by mail for any reason, but the pandemic has caused a huge surge in requests for absentee ballots.
About 473,000 mail-in ballots have been requested so far, and 46% of those have been submitted. Turnout is already at 17.35% of the 1.2 million registered voters in Nebraska.
Sarpy County Election Commissioner Michelle Andahl says the deadline to return a completed ballot is when the polls close at 8 p.m. Central Time and 7 p.m. Mountain Time on Tuesday, November 3 – and that deadline is absolutely firm.
"That’s a big thing on voter responsibility is making sure you get it in on time, make sure it’s in our office by 8 o’clock on Election Day," Andahl said. "Not post-marked for November 3, not, ‘I gave it to my neighbor and they said they’d bring it in on my behalf.’ It has to be in our office or in a drop box."
The ballot needs to be placed in the appropriate envelope and the envelope has to be signed – and not all counties notify voters of a problem with their ballot.
You can check whether your ballot has been rejected online at votercheck.necvr.ne.gov.
Unlike some other states, Nebraska allows mailed ballots to be tabulated the day before Election Day, so those results will be released early in the evening on November 3.
At 8:45 p.m. CT, Douglas County will release results for all early voting ballots through the end of the day Nov. 2. Sarpy County will release early voting results at 8 p.m.
Registered Republicans in the state have requested more ballots than Democrats or Independents, but the ballot return rate among Republicans is lower.
Voter turnout in the May primary election was the highest in at least two decades, driven primarily by early voters.
CORRECTION: A previous version of this story said voters have to sign their ballot. It has been edited to clarify voters only have to sign the ballot envelope. The story has also been edited to clarify that all polls close at 8pm CT, 7pm MT.