Lincoln sees big jump in early voters this primary

LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) — Election officials were expecting fewer in-person voters on Tuesday than in the 2019 primary.

They say that’s because the number of early ballots more than doubled.

Lancaster County Election Commissioner Todd Wiltgen said his office mailed out 34,000 ballots to early voters and has received 28,000 back.

“So just in early vote we see an increase in participation,” he said.


He said this is an option more people have been getting familiar with, especially after the pandemic.

“More people found out that voting early by mail or in person here at the Election Commission office was more convenient,” Wiltgen said.

This comes at a time when a bill proposed in the Legislature would nix most voting by mail. 

 A bill introduced by Sen. Steve Erdman would largely eliminate voting by mail for all except those who could show an inability to go to the polls.

 The nonprofit Civic Nebraska said election officials confirm that voting by mail is secure. It said it is used by people from all political affiliations.

“Participation in our elections is much higher due to having this option, this method for voting,” said Heather Engdahl, director of voting rights at Civic Nebraska.

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