The Nebraska Primary was administered safely and securely with few major issues, according to initial data from Civic Nebraska’s nonpartisan poll observers and day-of voter queries to the Election Protection Line.
“Security and efficiency are at the heart of Nebraska’s elections, and Tuesday’s primary was an excellent example of the time-tested measures that have made our elections a national model,” said John Cartier, Civic Nebraska’s director of voting rights.
The 396,228 ballots cast in the primary are likely to be the second-highest in a statewide primary when the vote is officialized. Nebraskans requested more than 230,000 early ballots for the 2022 primary; final statewide participation and final early vote levels will be available later in the week.
Despite virus concerns being relatively low this year, many Nebraskans still chose to vote early, Cartier said – a clear sign that vote-by-mail has become the standard for a significant portion of Nebraska voters.
“It’s great news for voters, who can research candidates and issues thoroughly and deliberate their choices. It’s great news for taxpayers because voting by mail is extremely cost-efficient. And it’s great news for democracy, because vote-by-mail increases participation,” Cartier said.
For Nebraskans who chose to return to in-person, day-of voting, polling sites around the state were operating smoothly and without major issues. Civic Nebraska trained and deployed dozens of volunteer election observers, and callers to the Election Protection Line reported steady attendance at precincts around Omaha, Lincoln, and Greater Nebraska throughout the day.
Among Tuesday’s reports:
›› There were several references to electioneering near polling places. Signs, petitions, and other campaign paraphernalia are prohibited within 200 feet of a polling place. State and local officials were notified in each instance.
›› There were a number of queries about the protocols related to Nonpartisan ballots, and the process of how to request a Nonpartisan Republican, Nonpartisan Democratic, Nonpartisan Libertarian, or Nonpartisan Legal Marijuana Now ballot. Nebraska’s political parties vary in the number of races they allow registered Nonpartisans to vote in.
›› As was the case in 2020, several voters presented themselves at their polling place and requested a day-of, in-person ballot Tuesday after previously requesting an early mail-in ballot for the primary. Those voters were issued a provisional ballot.
›› A number of Nebraskans who registered to vote at their local DMV presented themselves to vote, but their designated polling place lacked records of their registration. Those voters also were issued a provisional ballot.
This is the sixth statewide election cycle for Civic Nebraska’s nonpartisan Election Protection Program observation program. Civic Nebraska will release a detailed report after compiling all information from observed precincts and the Election Protection Line.