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Nebraska lawmakers have rejected a new effort to require a public vote when they choose legislative leaders, despite a push from some conservative senators for transparency. Lawmakers voted 30-19 against the motion to change the Legislature’s internal rules. Committee chairs and the speaker of the Legislature are elected through a secret ballot.

NET

Nebraska voters set a turnout record in the 2020 general election, with nearly 74% of eligible voters casting a ballot. Secretary of State Bob Evnen said Wednesday that voters beat the previous record from the 2016 general election by about 68,000 votes. Election officials statewide counted 936,106 votes cast. Evnen says 34 counties had a turnout of more than 80%, and four counties had a turnout of 88%. He says the record will likely increase once counties process an additional 20,000 to 25,000 ballots and provisional ballots that were submitted on Tuesday. 

As if things aren’t chaotic enough in lead-up to the election, now this: A squirrel caused a power outage at the Douglas County Election Commission as people were waiting for hours in line to cast their ballots. The Omaha World-Herald reports that the lights began to flicker shortly after 3 p.m. Friday as people were in line for three hours, then the power was lost. A squirrel somehow was messing with the electrical equipment. The Omaha Public Power District was able to get the power restored by 4:30 p.m., and the office’s computers were back online by 5 p.m.

Sarpy County Voters Now Have More Opportunities To Vote

Oct 23, 2020
Sarpy County

Sarpy County residents are getting more chances to vote early.  The Sarpy County Election Commission has added evening and weekend hours.  The election commission office at 501 Olson Drive in Papillion will now be open until 7:00 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and on Saturdays from 9:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m.  Early voting in Sarpy County will continue through November 2nd.

Newsservice.org

The American Civil Liberties Union of Nebraska is sending notices to thousands of felons informing them of their voting rights after learning that the state incorrectly notified an Omaha man that he wasn’t eligible to cast a ballot. The ACLU launched the public awareness project to ensure felons know whether they’re qualified to vote in the upcoming general election. The group says it plans to mail nearly 9,000 voting rights packets to county jails and the homes of residents who received disqualification notices from election officials.

State officials are looking to clear up confusion over mail-in ballot requests sent out by a third-party organization. Scotts Bluff County Commissioners raised concerns after the Center for Voter Information out of Springfield, Missouri sent 228-thousand absentee ballot applications in Nebraska, calling the move "voter fraud." However, Secretary of State Bob Evnen says the applications are legal and a legitimate way to request a ballot. Evnen added that the mailers are "redundant," since every registered voter in Nebraska will receive an early ballot application this month.

Nebraska’s top elections official says he won’t put three measures to legalize casino gambling on the November ballot, arguing that the language they used was misleading and confusing. The decision announced Tuesday by Republican Secretary of State Bob Evnen means voters won’t get to decide the issue this year unless a court overturns his decision. Supporters of the ballot measures filed an immediate legal challenge, and the dispute is likely headed to the Nebraska Supreme Court.

The Omaha City Council and Douglas County Board are calling for voters to decide if affirmative action should return to Nebraska.  Both the council and board approved measures yesterday asking the state legislature to have voters decide the fate of an affirmative action ban.  Nebraska voters approved a ballot measure in 2008 that prohibits practices such as affirmative action, which improves job and educational opportunities for minority groups.

Nebraska’s three largest counties plan to send ballot request forms to every voter before this fall’s general election, but it’s not yet clear whether those forms will be sent statewide. Officials in Douglas, Sarpy and Lancaster counties say they are planning to send out the ballot-request forms because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and because it will help them plan for the election. Nebraska Secretary of State Bob Evnen told The Omaha World-Herald he hasn’t decided whether to send out ballot request forms.

The League of Women Voters of Greater Omaha produces a non-partisan voters’ guide meant to inform people about the various candidates that are running for office.

New law allows online voter registration in Nebraska

Mar 31, 2014

Governor Dave Heineman has signed in to law a bill that will allow Nebraskans to register online to vote.

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — An elections watchdog group has filed a complaint against the embattled Douglas County Election Commissioner's office, alleging some Omaha voters were required to provide voter identification numbers before issuing them provisional ballots on Election Day.

Early voting begins in Nebraska

Oct 1, 2012

Douglas County Election Commissioner Dave Phipps says so far his office has received about 32,000 early ballot requests. 

The League of Women Voters has a new online resource available leading up to the November election.

31 precincts and 28 polling places will reopen in Douglas County for the November general election.