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Final early primary ballots clear up some races, including 1 in Douglas County

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Final early primary ballots were added to the vote count Friday, clearing up some races that had been too close to call.

Those included the race for the Democratic nomination for Douglas County sheriff. The updated numbers put Greg Gonzalez ahead of Wayne Hudson by more than 1,300 votes.

On the Republican side of the county sheriff’s race, Aaron Hanson won easily against George Merithew.

Douglas County Election Commissioner Brian Kruse said 31.5% of the county’s registered voters participated in the primary election. The previous high for a gubernatorial primary of 27.6% was set in 2006. Historically, Kruse said, turnout is around 20%.

Turnout across the state sat at 32%, said Cindi Allen with the Nebraska Secretary of State’s Office. That number, she said, is typical for a primary.

Kruse said officials still are counting provisional ballots and looking into a handful of ballots where signatures may not match or cases where voters received a replacement ballot. He expects an additional 950 ballots to be added to the count.

The race for Legislative District 18 in Douglas County is another one Kruse said officials are watching. Clarice Jackson and Christy Amendariz are separated by 21 votes for second place.

Automatic recounts are triggered if the difference between second and third place is less than 1% of the top vote-getter’s total, Kruse said.

For the most part, things went smoothly Tuesday, Kruse said. He credited patient voters and a strong contingent of poll workers.

“They really are, for the most part, Nebraska nice, which makes everything just go smoothly,” he said.

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