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What you need to know about voting ahead of Omaha's May 11 general election

What you need to know about voting ahead of Omaha's May 11 general election

Mayor Jean Stothert and RJ Neary will move on from the city primary as the top two vote-getters.

When Omaha voters cast ballots in Omaha’s April 6 primary election, they whittled down a crowded pool of candidates for mayor and City Council to two people per race.

Soon, voters will make their final choices on who should lead Omaha over the next four years.

The May 11 general election ballot will feature a mayoral race between two-term incumbent Mayor Jean Stothert, a Republican, and commercial real estate broker RJ Neary, a Democrat.

The ballot also will include two-person contests in each of seven City Council districts. Every Omaha voter will see two questions on their ballot: one for mayor and one for the City Council district in which they live.

Five of the seven council districts include an incumbent council member running against a challenger. The two others — southwest Omaha’s District 5 and District 3 in downtown/midtown — feature candidates who have not served on the council before.

Here are some questions and answers about voting in the general election:

When does voting begin?

Officials will begin to send early mail-in ballots Monday, April 26. That’s also the day people can start going to the Douglas County Election Commission to vote early in person.

Polling places on Election Day will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

How do I register to vote, and when is the deadline to register?

Most forms of registration — registering online, at a Department of Motor Vehicles office or at a library — must be completed by Friday, April 23.

For one week after that, you can go to the Douglas County Election Commission, 12220 West Center Road, to register in person. The commission is open weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., and it will stay open until 6 p.m. on Friday, April 30, which is the final day to register.

Information on how to register can be found on the Election Commission’s website,

I received an early ballot for the primary. Do I need to request another one?

For the vast majority of people who cast mail-in ballots in the primary election, the answer is no.

Voters who requested a mail-in ballot on or before March 26 — either by returning a green postcard application from the Douglas County Election Commission or by sending in an application from a candidate, political party or other organization — have already been entered to receive a by-mail ballot for the May 11 general election.

A small number of voters marked that they wanted an early ballot only for the primary. Those people would need to request another early ballot if they don’t plan to vote in person.

If you’ve moved since submitting an early ballot application, and voted with the ballot you received, you must submit a new application to the Election Commission with your new address no later than Friday, April 23.

I did not submit an early ballot in the primary election but would like to do so in the general election. What do I do?

New requests for early ballots must be submitted by 6 p.m. Friday, April 30.

Applications can be printed from the Election Commission’s website. If you still have a green postcard application from the Election Commission but did not turn it in during the primary, you can use it to request a ballot.

Or you can send a written request for an early voting ballot by including the election (Omaha’s 2021 general election) and your name, date of birth, phone number and/or email address, registered address, address where the ballot should be mailed and a signature. Those requests can be delivered to one of 13 drop-box locations or mailed or delivered to the Douglas County Election Commission, 12220 West Center Road, Omaha, NE 68144.

A list of drop-box locations can be found on the Election Commission’s website.

Requests can also be faxed to 402-444-4181, or you can email a clear picture or scan of the form to

Early voting ballots may not be requested by telephone.

When are early ballots due?

All mail-in ballots must be in the hands of election officials by 8 p.m. May 11.

Early ballots can be mailed to the Election Commission, but voters are encouraged to send them in at least a week in advance. Otherwise, you should take the ballot to the election commission or drop it in a drop box by 8 p.m. on Election Day to ensure that it is counted.

How can I check the status of my early ballot application?

You can call the Election Commission at 402-444-8683 or visit the commission’s website,

On the home page, under the “Shortcuts” tab, select “Vote Early By Mail” and then “Early Voting Ballot Status Check.” Doing so will redirect you to the Nebraska secretary of state’s voter check page, where you’ll enter your information. After clicking “Look Up,” ensure that you’ve selected Omaha’s general election. Then enter your date of birth, click “Look Up,” and the application status circle should state that the application was accepted.

You can use the same process to check the status of your ballot once you have turned it in.

Other questions can be directed to the Election Commission by calling 402-444-8683 or emailing, 402-444-1127, @reecereports

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Reece covers Omaha City Hall, including the City Council and Mayor's Office, and how decisions by local leaders affect Omaha residents. He's a born-and-raised Nebraskan and UNL graduate. Follow him on Twitter @reecereports. Phone: 402-444-1127​

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