Understanding Your Right to Vote

Registering voters

Voter Registration

Registering to vote is your civic responsibility and allows you to have a voice. If you plan to vote for the first time – congratulations!

Nebraska allows those who are 17, but turn 18 by the General Election on Nov. 3, to vote in the 2020 primary election.

If you have registered in the past but haven’t voted regularly, it is important to VERIFY your registration. Your voter registration is required to be updated when moving, changing names, or changing parties.

(add link to verify ballot status) 

Registered Nonpartisan Voters (Independents)

Registered voters not affiliated with a political party can vote in Nebraska’s 2020 primary election on May 12, 2020. Registered nonpartisan voters can request a partisan ballot to vote for Democratic, Libertarian, or Republican candidates running for the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives.

When a registered nonpartisan voter requests a Democratic ballot upon check-in for the primary, they will be eligible to vote in all partisan local, state, and federal offices listed on their ballot, including the Democratic presidential primary election.

Registered voters not affiliated with a political party can only receive one party’s partisan ballot for the primary. 

Overseas Voters

Voters maintain their right to vote when they are serving in the military or are temporarily living outside the United States through the Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment (MOVE) Act.

Nebraska participates in the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) process, which simultaneously registers applicants to vote, as well as mails them an Early Voting ballot.

It is important to note that the MOVE Act requires that overseas voters send an early voting request EACH calendar year.

(add Overseas link) 

Homeless

Homeless citizens, who are otherwise eligible to vote, have the right to cast their ballots.

The address of a homeless shelter or a day center can serve as their address of record. Also acceptable is the address of the local Election Commissioner or County Clerk’s office.

(add links to Register to Vote – English & Spanish & add link to verify ballot status) 

Former Felons & Incarcerated Persons Awaiting Trial

In 2005, the Nebraska Legislature passed LB53, which automatically restores the right to vote to the former felon TWO YEARS AFTER they have:
  • completed their prison sentence, AND
  • finished parole.
To verify that you are eligible, visit with your local County Clerk or Election Commissioner, or complete a voter registration form. (add voter registration links in English & Spanish; add link to Currently & Formerly Incarcerated Nebraskans’ Voting Rights (ACLU) doc)

Individuals with Disabilities

By law, each precinct must provide at least one device for persons with disabilities to vote unassisted and in private. If you cannot read, are blind, or have a physical disability, you can request assistance when completing your ballot on election day.

A friend or relative can assist you or you can request the assistance of two election board members – each from a different party.

Technology makes exercising your right to vote more inclusive and is utilized by Nebraska with both optical scan and direct recording electronic machines at precincts.

(add links: Application to Vote-by-Mail, County Election Officials

Provisional Ballots

Provisional ballots are used to record your votes when there is a question about your voter eligibility. This discrepancy must be resolved before your votes are counted.

To avoid this situation, verify your voter registration no later than the third Friday before an election – October 16, for the 2020 General Election.

If you receive a provisional ballot at your precinct, verify that it was validated and counted

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