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Nebraska had a “smooth election” with record voter turnout

Published: Nov. 4, 2020 at 1:02 PM CST|Updated: Nov. 4, 2020 at 2:18 PM CST
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - Nebraska Secretary of State Bob Evnen said a record number of people voted in the 2020 Nebraska General Election.

Nebraska exceeded its previous turnout record in terms of total votes cast, which was in the 2016 Presidential General Election, by about 68,000 votes. The unofficial overall turnout was 936,106, which is 74 percent of votes cast.

Thirty-four counties had a turnout of more than 80 percent. Four counties had a turnout of 88 percent. The turnout will increase as 20,000 - 25,000 early ballots that were dropped off Tuesday still need to be processed along with provisional ballots.

Early ballots that were mailed in or dropped off totaled 436,269.

Evnen said early balloting will require concerted attention to be sure going forward that ballots cast in this way are secure.

“25,000 early ballots that were sent to voters at their request were never returned. What happened to those ballots? We don’t know. 25,000 ballots is not an insignificant number.”

Evnen said there were no reports of voter fraud.

“Things seemed to go quite smoothly,” Evnen said.

10/11 NOW spoke with a Nebraska Wesleyan political science professor who said he knew voter turnout would be high, he just didn’t know it would be this high.

“We saw it across the board here in Nebraska and nationally as well," said Zachary Baumann.

With four of the states electoral votes going to President Donald Trump, NE-2 went to former Vice President Joe Biden, which Baumann said was big.

“It certainly had a big effect in terms of giving democrats last night some hope as all of this positive republican news was coming in," said Baumann.

With a large number of mail-in ballots, Baumann said that shows how big of a role that will likely play in future elections.

“I think a lot of people voted by mail this year and discovered it was really convenient.. so I’ll be curious how many people want to do this in the future," said Baumann.

The professor said this also raises questions about how states may change their voting laws going forward.

Nebraska election results: https://electionresults.nebraska.gov/

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