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Starting now, Nebraskans shouldn't risk their early ballots by mailing them

Starting now, Nebraskans shouldn't risk their early ballots by mailing them


If you are getting ready to return your early ballot, step away from the mailbox.

Do not send it in by mail, because it may not arrive in time for your vote to be counted, election commissioners in Douglas and Sarpy Counties are advising.

Instead, Nebraska voters who have early ballots should put them in an official election commission drop box or deliver them in person to their county election commission office.

“This is extremely important: Do not mail your ballot” this close to Election Day, Douglas County Election Commissioner Brian Kruse said Tuesday.

In Sarpy County, Election Commissioner Michelle Andahl had been advising voters not to mail their ballots any later than Monday, Oct. 26.

“It’s nothing against the post office, but a week is standard delivery time, and it’s a little risky if you want your ballot in,” Andahl said.

That matches national messaging from the U.S. Postal Service, which has recommended that voters mail their ballots at least one week before their states’ due dates to allow for timely receipt by election officials.

In Nebraska, ballots must be received by county election commissions by 8 p.m. (7 p.m. Mountain time) on Election Day, Nov. 3, or they won’t count. Postmarks don’t matter.

Early ballots may not be turned in at polling places.

As of Tuesday, more than 50,000 people combined in Douglas and Sarpy Counties had requested early ballots but not returned them yet.

Nebraskans who have not requested early ballots can still vote early in person at their election commission offices through Monday, Nov. 2. The Douglas County Election Commission Office will be open until 6 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday, and 5 p.m. Friday, and from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday.

The Sarpy County Election Commission office will be open until 5 p.m. Wednesday and Friday, and 7 p.m. Thursday, and from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday.

And of course, registered voters can vote in person at polling places on Election Day. Kruse and Andahl each said Tuesday that polling places will be well-staffed with poll workers Tuesday.

Our best staff images of October 2020, 402-444-1057

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Chris Burbach covers the Douglas County Board, Planning Board and other local government bodies, as well as local neighborhood issues. Follow him on Twitter @chrisburbach. Phone: 402-444-1057.

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