6 steps to easy, effective voting

Make a plan to ensure your vote is counted and your voice is heard.

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Voting is our most fundamental right – the foundation of all other civil rights. Given its inherent and far-reaching power, it makes sense for us to prepare to exercise it. That means more than simply showing up at the polls on Election Day. Make a plan to ensure your vote is counted and your voice is heard. Here are some ways to do just that – so you can vote easily and effectively.

1. Confirm your registration status and know your deadlines.

Before you start, check whether you are registered to vote. Visit the state’s election website or use tools like Vote.org to check your registration status. A good time to do this is right now. If you’re not registered, do so before the established deadlines – April 29 (online) and May 3 (in person) for the May 14 primary; and Oct. 18 (online) and Oct. 25 (in person) for the Nov. 5 general election. This step is crucial – you can’t vote if you’re not registered.

2. Research your options.

Take the time to research the candidates and issues on the ballot. Understand their platforms, values, and proposed policies. Consider how they align with your own beliefs and priorities. Explore credible sources such as candidate websites, news outlets, and nonpartisan organizations to gather information. Not sure what to make of some of the offices or initiatives you’ll be voting on? Our Decoding the Ballot feature helps demystify some of the lesser-known contests. Bookmark Decoding the Ballot and share it with your networks.

3. Identify important dates.

Mark your calendar with key dates such as voter registration deadlines, early voting periods, and Election Day itself. Knowing these dates will help you plan your voting strategy accordingly – should you vote early, either in person or via an early mail-in ballot? Either option can be a convenient alternative to day-of in-person voting if you anticipate difficulty getting to the polls on Election Day. If returning your vote by mail, request and return your ballot well in advance to allow ample time for delivery and return.

4. Check your logistics.

If you’re voting in person, determine your polling location and the best time to visit (Nebraska polling places are open from 8 am to 8 pm Central Time and 7 am to 7 pm Mountain Time on Election Day). Consider factors like traffic, work commitments, and other obligations when planning your visit to the polls. If voting by mail, familiarize yourself with the requirements for completing and returning your ballot to ensure it’s counted.

5. Make contingency plans if possible.

Life is unpredictable, and it’s wise to have backup plans if things don’t go as expected. If you can’t vote in person for whatever reason – an extended illness or other emergencies – explore alternative options such as requesting an absentee ballot. Pay attention to communications from your county’s election commissioner about any changes to voting procedures (such as Nebraska’s new identification requirements), polling locations, or dropbox locations that may have occurred since you last voted.

6. Encourage others to vote.

Your vote is your voice – and it can inspire others to participate in the democratic process. Encourage friends, family members, and colleagues to register to vote and make their own voting plans. Be sure to share information about voter registration deadlines, voting locations, dropboxes, and other relevant details to help others engage in our collective civic duty.
Creating a voting plan is the most proactive step we can take toward exercising our most important democratic right. To learn more about the 2024 elections, visit Civic Nebraska’s Election Central hub. Let’s get ready to vote, Nebraska!

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