Nebraska’s Nov. 6 general election is just around the corner. Are you ready? Here are some frequently asked questions about voting in our state’s general election.
By what date(s) do I have to register to vote for the Nov. 6 election?
There are two dates you absolutely, positively need to know.
1) If you wish to register online to vote in Nebraska, or wish to request a vote-by-mail ballot, you must register by 11:59 p.m. Friday, Oct. 19, 2018. You will need a valid ID in the precinct in which you will vote to register online. Registering online in Nebraska takes about 10-15 minutes.
2) If you wish to register in person at your county’s election office, you get one additional week. That means you have until 6 p.m. Friday, Oct. 26, 2018, to get there and get it done.
Where can I get an early look at the ballot?
Statewide and federal sample ballots for the 2018 General Election are right here. Use the time between now and Nov. 6 to study up! An informed electorate is good for democracy. Just in case you need a playbook for Nebraska’s political parties and their candidates, here are links to candidate pages on the state’s Democratic, Republican and Libertarian websites.
Do we really vote for all of these offices?
Yes, depending on the precinct, some ballots could have more than a dozen separate offices and ballot questions to vote upon this year. To help voters fully understand the roles and responsibilities of the offices they’ll be voting on, we’ve created DECODING THE BALLOT. Use the guide (in both English and in Spanish) along with election guides from political parties or your local newspaper for maximum Election Day information and context.
I can’t remember if I’m registered to vote. Is there some way I can check?
Yes. Go here to check — and double-check. It takes 30 seconds.
I’m a college student. Do I register to vote in the place where I’m going to school, or in the place where I’m originally from?
If you’ve moved out of state or to a different county for college, you are not required to re-register at your college address. Temporary leaves from your home state or county do not require a change in voter registration.
But you get to choose where you register. You can register to vote at your college address or your permanent home address. Note: If you choose to register to vote in a state other than Nebraska, be sure to check that state’s laws about voting and registration.
Where do I go on Election Day to vote?
Head to your polling station from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. if you’re in the eastern part of the state that is in Central Standard Time, or 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. if you’re in the western part of the state that is in Mountain Standard Time.
I can’t remember where my polling place is. Is there a way to double-check beforehand?
Still not sure where it’s at? Look for it on Google Maps.
I have to work all day on Election Day. Is there any way I can get time off to vote?
Yes. Nebraska law allows workers time off to vote in certain circumstances. If you are scheduled to work the 12 hours on Nov. 6 when the polls are open, you can take up to two consecutive hours off to vote. If you apply for this time off before or even on Election Day, your employer can’t punish you or subtract wages on account of your absence. Under the law, your employer is also entitled to specify the hours when you can be gone from work to vote. Bottom line, work with your employer to ensure you get to the polls. It’s your right.
If I’m in line when the polls close but I have yet to vote, do I still get to vote?
Yes, yes — by all means, yes! Stay in line. As long as you are in line by 8 p.m. in the Central Time Zone or 7 p.m. in the Mountain Time Zone, you will be allowed to vote.
I want to be an election observer on Election Day. How do I do that?
Civic Nebraska is training nonpartisan election observers for the Nov. 6 general election right up through Nov. 5, the day before Nebraskans go to the polls. You’ll need to sit in on a short training and sign up for a time slot and polling station. Our policy organizer, Brad Christian-Sallis, can get you started. Contact Brad at 402.812.2234 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
What do I do if I’m denied a ballot on Election Day?
This is serious business — and we should know about it right away. If you have been denied a ballot for any reason, we encourage you to contact Civic Nebraska’s Election Day hotline at 402.904.5191, via email at email@example.com; or via Facebook or Twitter.
Do I have to show an ID on Election Day to vote?
No. Identification is not required to vote. The only exception is if you’re a first-time voter, you registered to vote by mail, and did not send in a copy of your ID at that time. If you are asked to present ID at your polling place, call Civic Nebraska’s Election Day hotline at 402.904.5191, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or hit us up on Facebook or Twitter.
Other questions? Let us know at email@example.com and we’ll add them (and our answers) here.