Early Voting Begins

By: Rowena Li Email
By: Rowena Li Email

Voters flowed into the Hall County Election Commissioner's office bright and early on Monday, the first day of early voting in Nebraska.

"The phone started ringing right away this morning at 8:30, so we've had people in and out," says Hall County Election Commissioner Dale Baker.

Mary Gohner and her husband were among those who voted Monday.

"My schedule includes long hours and I wanted to ensure that my voice is heard. We're facing some serious economic, political issues," Gohner explains.

It's the first time Gohner has voted early, and she says she's appreciative of the alternative.

"Isn't that a wonderful option? There's just no excuse for Americans not to make their voices known," she says.

Anyone registered to vote can vote early by mail or in person at county election offices. Voters can request ballots to be mailed to them until October 31, and in-person early voting goes all the way until November 5, the day before the general election.

Election officials say early voting makes it easier for voters and reduces crowds on Election Day.

"Once you try early voting, you really like it, because you can take the ballot home with you if you want to, you can vote now, the options are there for you and it's not a rush. And you don't have to stand in line usually," Bakers explains.

But, Baker says, don't count on early voting to become the preference.

"There's still something exciting about voting on election day and I think folks still feel that's the day to vote," she says.

Ballots taken home may be returned in person or be mailed in. Mail-in ballots may require postage depending on the county. All ballots must be received by the time polling locations close on November 6. Those who haven't registered to vote yet can do so until October 19 by mail or at motor vehicle offices. The deadline for in-person registrations at county election offices is October 26.

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