Nebraska’s top elections official, Secretary of State John Gale, is predicting very healthy voter turnout of 56% in tomorrow’s General Election.
Gale says Nebraska has set a record of nearly one-point-two million voters registered.
“There’s a lot of vibrancy to this election coming up,” Gale says, “and we think the 56% turnout is based on the record voter registration that we have as well as the record early voting that we have.”
From the governor’s office to members of Congress to ballot issues like Medicaid expansion, Gale says there are significant races and issues to decide and he urges voters not to get complacent.
“There’s a lot of keen interest in the races and in the ballot issues and there seems to be new people, new generations involved because of the online voter registration we have,” Gale says. “It’s allowed a lot of students and younger people to get registered and get active.”
While topics like immigration, gun violence and abortion rights may be getting play on national networks, Gale says races and issues at all levels are generating interest.
“I think national trends certainly are of some impact but I think it’s more local issues and personal issues that drive people,” Gale says. “The Medicaid expansion is one of those things that effects a lot of people personally or they have family members who are impacted, and then there are people worried about the fiscal impact.”
Elections are about 20% of the Secretary of State’s duties. This will be Gale’s last hurrah as Nebraska’s Secretary of State as he’s not seeking reelection.
Gale was appointed as the state’s top elections official in 2000 by then-Governor Mike Johanns.
Once the polls close tomorrow, the Secretary of State’s website will have unofficial results posted online at www.sos.ne.gov.
(Reporting and photo by Doug Kennedy, KWBE, Beatrice)