The primary at midday: Some voter ID concerns, but generally smooth so far

Midway through in-person voting on Tuesday, Civic Nebraska reports an efficient Primary Election Day in the Cornhusker State.

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this post stated that a handful of precincts in Lancaster and Douglas counties experienced a few instances of how to reconcile voters who presented IDs with outdated addresses. The counties were Cass and Douglas. We regret the error.
Midway through in-person voting on Tuesday, Civic Nebraska reports an efficient Primary Election Day in the Cornhusker State.
Calls to Civic Nebraska’s Election Protection Line (402-890-5291) and reports from its volunteer nonpartisan election observers at precincts around Nebraska have been steady, with most contacts focused on electioneering near polling places; specific requirements to fulfill Nebraska’s new voter identification mandate; and using mobile phones while voting in person.
“Our primary is the state’s first election with the new ID requirements, and it continues to be top-of-mind with voters,” said Heather Engdahl, Civic Nebraska’s director of voting rights. “We have been providing clarity about the new law so that everyone who wishes to cast a ballot can do so without impediment or delay.”
Notable midday reports include:
›› A handful of instances in Omaha and Cass County, in which poll workers were briefly unsure how to proceed after a voter presented their current Nebraska driver’s license with an old address on it. The new law allows Nebraska voters to present outdated or expired ID cards, as long as they carry their photo and name. Each situation was quickly resolved and voters cast their ballots.
›› There also were several questions about the placement of campaign signs outside polling places at a few polling spots in Lincoln and Omaha. State law prohibits electioneering within 200 feet of a polling entrance. There were several reports of campaign signs within this 200-foot radius at a handful of polling stations. County election commissions and the secretary of state’s Election Division (888-727-0007) are the responsible authorities for rectifying accessibility or electioneering concerns.
›› In Douglas County, a poll worker asked a voter to put away a mobile phone while in the voting booth. The voter cited a state law that allows Nebraska voters to employ such resources to assist their voting process, including mobile phones, and was allowed to vote.
Engdahl reminded voters who have requested an early mail-in ballot that they must submit it in an official county dropbox by 8 pm CDT (7 pm MDT) today. Some voters who requested an early mail-in ballot but have decided to vote in person at their polling place today will be asked to complete a provisional ballot.
“That ballot requires extra steps for our hard-working election officials to validate it, and so we strongly recommend that if you have an early mail-in ballot, please dropbox it by 8 tonight,” she said.
Similarly, voters who forget their ID but who wish to vote today may do so via a provisional ballot. Those voters then have seven days to present an accepted form of identification at their county election commissioner’s office.
In cases where voters are unable to acquire and possess proper identification by Election Day, those voters can fill out a reasonable impediment certification form at the polling site and then vote provisionally.
For more information about how to navigate the new ID mandate, visit
This is the 19th election that Civic Nebraska has monitored since 2012. State officials are projecting a participation rate of 35 percent, or about 430,000 of the state’s 1.2 million voters.

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