Season’s Greetings! Request a mail-in ballot today

On 'National Vote-By-Mail Day,' get started early on the process required to vote from home for the general election.

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Happy National Vote By Mail Day! Yes, that’s right – Tuesday, July 28 is a day for Americans to celebrate their right to cast ballots from the comfort, privacy, and safety of their own homes. Let’s party!

OK, we know, National Vote By Mail Day is not an official holiday (yet). Presently, this event is driven by ​several ​pro-voter organizations​ around the United States​ to encourage voting from home and – here’s the big thing – starting that process without delay.

You might be saying​, ​“​C’mon, t​he November election isn’t for three months. Why are you making so much noise about it ​in July?”

​Here’s why:

1) This awful, ongoing, obstinate COVID-19 pandemic is still going to make voting in person a calculated health risk; and

2) We expect a record number of early mail-in ballots to be cast in the general election, so that means it’s important to request a vote-by-mail ballot as early as possible.

Election offices around the state did a great job during the primary keeping up with the increased demand for early mail-in ballots. The general election is likely to see about twice that volume. To make sure our public servants have plenty of time to process your request and get you your ballot in time – and so you, too, have plenty of time to get it in the mail before Election Day – it’s already time to flatten the curve.

Here’s what you need to know: Nebraska’s window to request an early mail-in ballot opened July 6. Also, Nebraska’s three biggest counties – Douglas, Lancaster, and Sarpy – have said they will mail every registered voter in their counties a request form to get an early mail-in ballot.

If you:

– Live outside of Douglas, Lancaster, or Sarpy counties;

– Live outside any of the 11 smaller Nebraska counties that are conducting the 2020 general election via all-vote-by-mail; or

– If you’re a registered voter living anywhere in Nebraska, don’t want to wait, and want to help “flatten the curve,” you can act right now to start the vote-by-mail process.

Here’s how:

First, make sure you’re registered to vote. We have helpful links at civicnebraska.vote to check your status and to register.

Next, request your early mail-in ballot. You can do this at the Secretary of State’s webpage or, if you would like our help in getting a request form, go here and we’ll help connect you with the right form.

Finally, mark Sept. 28, 2020, on your calendar. That’s when election offices around the state will begin mailing out the actual ballots.

One of the great things about an early mail-in ballot is that you have extra time to research candidates and issues. We encourage you to continue to do so. But once you’ve arrived at your choices, don’t delay – fill out and return your ballot. The closer it gets to Nov. 3, the more pressure there will be on our election officials to process what could become a ballot tsunami.

Are you spending time on Twitter and are now worried about voting by mail? No matter what is tweeted, the fact remains that voting by mail is a time-honored, safe, and secure method. These FAQs can help put your mind at ease.

Have a fun and festive National Vote By Mail Day! Maybe by 2022, we’ll have established some holiday traditions (a vote-by-mail tree? A stamp hunt? A family feast to fill out our request forms as we gather around the table? Eh, we’ll work on it). But in 2020, you can carry out one important task today: Get started.

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