The ballots are coming! The ballots are coming!

Here are a few best practices to ensure a successful vote-by-mail experience.

Early mail-in ballots for Nebraska’s Nov. 8 general election are arriving in the mailboxes of those who have requested them. Registered Nebraska voters can vote by mail for any reason – Nebraska is among the nation’s “no-excuse” states when it comes to absentee voting. You have until Oct. 28 to request an early mail-in ballot.
Here are a few best practices for voting via an early mail-in ballot.

Double-check your ballot.

Be sure you’ve got the right ballot in front of you before you begin. Also, confirm that an election official’s signature is at the very bottom of the ballot. If you don’t see one, call your county’s Election Commission Office right away.

Black ink, in full.

Use a black ballpoint pen – no pencils, no magic markers – and fill in the oval completely. Don’t use blue, red, green or any other color. BLACK. Be sure you’re using an ink pen, as well. Don’t use a pencil, and don’t use a marker. 
Finally, completely darken the ovals that correspond with your choices – no X’s, no check marks. Leave no doubt what you’re voting for.

The Voter’s Oath.

This is absolutely required – no exceptions: The Voter’s Oath. This is located on your submission envelope and MUST be filled out fully before your ballot will be accepted. Complete each line (printing your name and your mailing address). Then, sign the Voter’s Oath where designated. In our experience, the most common reason for rejected early mail-in ballots is because the signature space was left blank. 

Suggested deadlines.

We strongly recommend you mail your early mail-in ballot no later than Oct. 28. If you plan to use the U.S. Mail to return your ballot, put a regular first-class stamp on it and get it in the mail AT LEAST seven days before Election Day – that way, our dedicated Postal workers have plenty of time to get it to your Election Office. 
After Oct. 28, we recommend you place it in a secure county dropbox. You can do this until 8 pm CST (7 pm MST) on Election Day. No postage is needed if you drop it off.

On Election Day …

Don’t take your early ballot to your neighborhood polling place on Election Day. You’ll be turned away and told to take it to the nearest county dropbox. Polling sites are for day-of, in-person voters, and they will have no way to accept your ballot. 

Track your ballot.

Once you return your ballot, you can track its progress online. Go here to follow its journey from submission to receipt to acceptance. If your ballot appears to be hung up for any reason, contact your Election Office right away to find out how you can get it corrected.

Need help? We’re here.

Do you have questions about the vote-by-mail process? Civic Nebraska can help you. Call our Election Line at 402-890-5291, Monday through Friday, 9 am to 5 pm before Election Day, and 8 am to 8 pm on Nov. 8. We’re happy to help.
Learn more about Election 2022 – key dates, answers to FAQs, Decoding the Ballot, and how to make a plan to vote – at Civic Nebraska’s 2022 Election Central hub

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