Last week, the Nebraska Governor and Secretary of State announced that the 2020 statewide primary election will take place as planned on Tuesday, May 12.
We all love that “I Voted” sticker and seeing neighbors at our polling location. But, when we are being asked to keep our social distance for the sake of our health and others, we want to be sure that you know how to Vote By Mail.
Nebraska is a “no-excuse” state, meaning any registered voter may request an Early Voting/Vote By Mail ballot and is not required to provide a reason. (Note: “Early Voting” ballot and “Vote by Mail” ballot are the same thing—also sometimes called an “Absentee” ballot.) Even though you don’t need an “excuse,” a global pandemic is a pretty good reason to vote from home and mail in your ballot.
You can do your civic duties of voting AND maintaining social distance when voting by mail. All Nebraska voters will receive applications in the mail to request an Early Voting/Vote by Mail ballot be mailed directly to them prior to the election. You must fill out the application and return it to the county election commission by fax, email or regular mail (with a 55 cent stamp) by May 1. If you’ve misplaced your application or didn’t receive one, you can access Vote by Mail Applications online:
When will I receive my ballot? Ballots will be mailed to those who have applied for Vote by Mail beginning April 6. If your application is received after April 6, 2020, allow 3 to 5 business days for your application to be processed and your ballot to be mailed.
I’ve filled out my ballot—now what? Once your ballot is completed, you can put it in the mail—with correct postage (55 cent stamp for just your ballot. If there are additional items/papers, it requires 70 cents postage). Or, you can drop it off at various locations around Douglas County. If you are a Sarpy County voter, click here. Your ballot must be received by the county election commission by 8:00 pm on May 12.
Will poll locations still be open? Yes, polls will still be open on May 12, but the best way to make sure your vote is counted and to protect community health is to vote by mail!
Don’t forget about voter registration! It’s NOT JUST FOR NEW VOTERS.
Voters should re-register every time they move, change their name or want to change their party affiliation. If you do not re-register to vote, you may need to vote via a Provisional Ballot at the polls, which may increase the time it takes to vote. The deadline for online voter registration is April 27. You can register to vote online now.
Remember—you must return your Vote by Mail application to the county election commission by May 1.