Decoding the Ballot: 2021 Lincoln & Omaha Elections

DECODING THE BALLOT is a nonpartisan guide designed to bring clarity to your options in the 2021 municipal elections in Lincoln and Omaha.

Welcome to Decoding the Ballot 2021! This nonpartisan resource from Civic Nebraska explains the roles, responsibilities, and compensation for elected offices on ballots for the Lincoln and Omaha city elections.
Each entry has a brief description of the office’s responsibilities, terms, and salary, if applicable. For more information, please contact our Election Protection Line at 402.890.5291, visit Election 2021 Central or email me at john.cartier@civicnebraska.org.
Thank you for being an informed participant in your democracy!

John Cartier, J.D., Director of Voting Rights, Civic Nebraska

Lincoln

General Election: May 4
The Lincoln City Council makes laws, approves city budgets, and has authority to audit city agencies. The Lincoln City Council has seven members: four from equally populated districts and three elected at large. Each member is elected to a four-year term. In 2021, all three at-large seats are on the ballot.
On April 6, primary voters cut the field to six candidates. Lincoln voters will be asked to vote for up to three (3) candidates in the May 4 general election. The top three vote-getters will be elected to the Lincoln City Council. 
The City Council is officially nonpartisan. Councilmembers earn $24,000 a year.
More: Lincoln City Council
The Lincoln Board of Education is the governing body for Lincoln Public Schools. It has full responsibility for the general control and direction of the school system. The Board of Education functions as a policy-forming and legislative body. The Board sets major directions reflecting guidelines of law, expectations of community and needs of students; provides for financial resources to provide programs; and provides for implementation and evaluation of the school program in terms of the Board’s goals.
Members of the seven-seat Board are elected by district to four-year terms. This means only the registered voters of a particular area may vote for a particular seat in a by-district election.
The Board is officially nonpartisan and members are unpaid. In 2021, four of seven seats (Districts 1, 3, 5, and 7) are on the ballot.
More: LPS Board of Education | Board of Education District Map
The Lincoln Airport Authority is a local government entity charged with care, custody, and control of the airport. The Authority operates the airport and a 1,000-acre industrial park consisting mostly of manufacturing and warehousing tenants. The airport has about 85 employees, including its own police force, customer service, facilities and maintenance, and administrators.
The Authority is governed by a five-member, unpaid Board of Directors, who serve six-year terms and decide on commercial and general aviation issues at the airport and the industrial park. As a separately elected subdivision, the Airport Authority also has the authority to levy property taxes. In 2021, two of the five seats on the Board are on the ballot.
More: Lincoln Airport Authority

Omaha

Primary Election: April 6   |   General Election: May 11   |   April 6 Sample Ballot
The city of Omaha utilizes a strong mayor and city council system. In this form of municipal government, the city council serves as the city’s primary legislative body while the mayor serves as the city’s chief executive.
The mayor is responsible for proposing a budget, signing legislation into law, appointing departmental directors and overseeing the city’s day-to-day operations. The mayor also represents the city on the state, national and international levels.
On April 6, Omaha primary voters narrowed the field of mayoral candidates to two. The candidate with the most votes May 11 will be elected Omaha’s mayor. 
The office of mayor is officially nonpartisan. The mayor earns $110,746 annually.
More: Mayor of Omaha
The city of Omaha has a strong mayor and city council system. In this form of city government, the City Council serves as the primary legislative body while the mayor is the city’s chief executive.
The Omaha City Council is responsible for adopting the city budget, approving mayoral appointees, levying taxes, and making or amending city laws, policies and ordinances.
The City Council is made up of seven members. Each member is elected by one of the city’s seven districts. All seven seats of the City Council are on the ballot in 2021; only the registered voters of a particular area may vote for a particular seat in a by-district election.
On April 6, Omaha primary voters narrowed the field in each district to two candidates. The candidate receiving the most votes during the May 11 general election in each district will be elected to the Omaha City Council. 
The Omaha City Council is officially nonpartisan. Councilmembers earn $40,459.
More: Omaha City Council | City Council District Map

Locations

  • Lincoln
    530 S. 13th St. Suite 100, Lincoln NE 68508
    402.904.5191
  • Omaha
    6400 University Drive, N CEC 117.12, Omaha NE 68182-0708
    402.554.3584
  • Greater Nebraska
    203 N. Locust St., Grand Island NE 68801
    308@civicnebraska.org
  • Contact Us

After School Programs

  • Sherman Elementary School

    5618 N 14th Ave.
    Omaha, NE 68110

  • Lewis and Clark Middle School

    6901 Burt St.
    Omaha, NE 68132

  • Lothrop Magnet Elementary

    3300 N. 22nd St.
    Omaha, NE 68110

  • Campbell Elementary School

    2200 Dodge St.
    Lincoln, NE 68521

  • Lincoln High School

    2229 J St.
    Lincoln, NE 68510

  • Lincoln Northeast High School

    2635 N. 63rd St.
    Lincoln, NE 68507

  • Randolph Elementary School

    1024 S. 37th St.
    Lincoln, NE 68510

  • Raymond Central Elementary Schools

    Ceresco: 114 S. Third, Box 10
    Valparaiso: 406 E. 3rd St