Almost every aims to vote. But any number of unforeseen reasons (school, work, family, health) can prevent us from voting despite our best intentions. That’s why in the run-up to Election Day, you’ll often hear calls to make a plan to vote. In essence, it means keeping your calendar in mind, planning for contingencies, and being specific.
Here are some things to consider when creating your own voting plan.
Before election day
Every plan starts with being ABSOLUTELY sure you are registered to vote. Check your status with the Nebraska Secretary of State. Even if you’re pretty sure it’s on the rolls, it doesn’t hurt to double check. Plus, it’s quick and easy.
Completely review the candidates, issues, and measures on the 2022 ballot. Your vote is most powerful when you make informed decisions. Sample ballots will start appearing in early October; we will publish them in our 2022 Election Center for your convenience. We will also add to our 2022 edition of BALLOT DECODINGwhich will delve into what’s on the ballot this year, as Election Day approaches.
Make your voting plan
Ideally, this should go beyond saying “My plan is that I plan to vote.” Many Nebraskans will vote early from home, thanks to our state’s initiative. no excuse absentee ballot option. This has worked tremendously well since the onset of COVID-19 concerns, driving high turnout in the 2020 primary and general elections, the 2021 Lincoln and Omaha municipal elections, and the midterm primaries last May. In fact, May’s vote was an all-time record for a Nebraska gubernatorial primary.
Typically, a general election draws about twice as many voters as a primary. While the US Postal Service delivered 99 percent of mail-in ballots on time in 2020, we suggest the “Three Ds” approach: Record (if you haven’t already), Request (your mail-in ballot by October 14), and Return (your ballot in the mail no later than October 28) to give our Postal Service workers as much protection as possible.
Of course, there is more than one way to cast your ballot early in Nebraska. You can also go to your county election commission office and vote early. in person. This option is available from October 11th and ends at the end of the business day in November 7.
To review, here are the two early voting options for Nebraskans:
Vote in person on November 8
If your plan is to vote on Election Day, the polls will be open from 8 am to 8 pm Central Time (7 am to 7 pm Mountain Time) statewide.
Be sure to include adequate time in your schedule for the day. Identify a specific time that you will go to the polls and strive to stick to it. Book the time on your calendar and/or set a reminder on your smartphone.
Double check your polling place. Polling places may have moved since the last time you voted in person. Go here to double check.
Consider transportation and weather. Early November can be unpredictable, weather-wise, in Nebraska. The average high is 57 and the average low is 33, but we’ve had everything from blizzards to thunderstorms in early November in recent years. So make sure you have a Plan B if your first transportation option falls through.
- How do I get to my polling place? I’m driving? Do I have reliable transportation in bad weather? Do I need someone else to drive me?
- Should I carpool with a friend or neighbor? (Pro tip: planning to vote in person with a friend helps ensure that both vote.)
- How much time should I reserve for travel, parking, etc.?
- Do I need to bring a coat (in case lines form outside my polling place building) or something to snack on while I wait?
Know your rights. Voting is our most important and precious of democratic rights. If you or someone you know is denied a ballot for any reason, we need to know right away. Call our Election Protection Line at 402.890.5291. We will have attorneys available around the clock to assist and advise you.
Here are more facts and resources about voting in person on Election Day:
Celebrate! It’s time to enjoy the wonder of participating in your democracy. Nebraska law allows for “ballot selfies,” which means you can take a picture of yourself voting and/or your ballot if you wish.
Share that you voted on social networks. This helps remind everyone in your social network to vote if they haven’t already. Help spread the joy of voting this year – your democracy will love you for it.