Early voting for the May 15th primary election is underway in Nebraska, but for some state voters mailing their ballot has become the norm.
The early voting period for the primary election began Monday. Secretary of State John Gale reminds voters they can vote early either by mail or in person at their county election offices.
In addition, Gale has authorized 19 more precincts in the state to become all mail-in precincts, increasing the number in Nebraska to 44. That still is only a small percentage of the precincts in the state. Nebraska has 1,450 precincts statewide.
“We haven’t made a lot of progress in that direction, but more and more county officials are seeing the benefit, both in terms of reducing cost as well as convenience for those voters in rural precincts,” Gales tells Nebraska Radio Network.
The state legislature approved all mail-in voting for counties with populations of 10,000 or fewer residents. The largest number of mail-in voting precincts is located in Cherry County, the huge, rural, sparsely populated county in northern west-central Nebraska. Registered voters in those precincts will be mailed ballots that must be returned by the time the polls close on the 15th of May.
Other deadlines loom for the primary election. Mail-in voter registrations must be postmarked by April 27, according to the Secretary of State’s office. Citizens have until April 27th to register to vote in the primary election at state agencies and at motor vehicle offices. The deadline is 6pm on May 4th to register in person at county election offices. That deadline also includes updating addresses or changing political party affiliations.
Requests for early-voting ballots mail-in ballots for the primary can be made until 4pm on May 9th, according to the Secretary of State. Early voting ballots must be returned by the time the polls close on the 15th.
Gale expects more interest than usual in this primary election, because of the Republican primary for United States Senate. He says that race should attract not just Republican, but independent voters.
If you have questions, you can go online at the Secretary of State’s office by clicking here or you can call the office at (402) 471-2555. Your county election office can also answer questions.