Tuesday, December 12, 2017
   
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Early voting to begin soon; registrations up

LINCOLN—The first round of early voting ballots will be mailed out on April 4 to Nebraskans registered to vote in the primary, according to Secretary of State John Gale.

State law requires that ballots be mailed no earlier than 35 days prior to an election. Early ballots have been mailed to military members and people living overseas.

Currently, 1,161,207 citizens are registered to vote. Voter registration has gone up steadily since June 2015, when the state started tracking numbers on a monthly basis.

“Since June 2015, voter registration has increased by nearly 26,000,” Gale said. “Analyzing the last two presidential elections, it is certain voter registration will take another significant leap prior to the general election.”

From the primary until the general election in 2008, voter registrations increased by almost 40,000. During that same period in 2012, the increase was just over 27,500.

“It’s nearly impossible to predict where voter registration will stand come November,” Gale said. “There are many factors that come into play. But, given the highly competitive nature of the presidential race, a majority of legislative seats have at least two contenders and the future of Nebraska’s death penalty will be put to a vote—I wouldn’t be surprised to see registrations jump another 30,000 by Election Day.”

Registered voters who wish to get an early ballot can locate the appropriate applications on the Secretary of State’s website www.sos.ne.gov under the elections tab. Forms are available in English and Spanish. They can be completed online, printed, signed and mailed, faxed or emailed to the appropriate county election office for processing.

Mailed ballots must be received by the close of polls on Election Day. Early voting in person commences at county election offices on April 11 and continues until May 9, the day before the primary.

Non-partisan voters may find their ballots to be a little light during the primary. In 82 precincts, non-partisan candidates will automatically advance to the general election, due to lack of challengers.

Gale reminds non-partisan voters they can request a Democratic or Libertarian ballot. Non-partisan voters requesting a Republican ballot will be able to cast a vote in congressional races, but no other contests.

Anyone wishing to check the status of their voter registration, early voting ballot or locate their polling place can do so here: www.votercheck.necvr.ne.gov.

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