Voter turnout, early voting key factors in city council election

Sändra Washington and Bennie Shobe won re-election, while Tom Beckius defeated incumbent Roy Christensen, giving Democrats six of the seven seats on the city council.

LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) – According to Lancaster County election commissioner David Shively, Tuesday’s turnout for the city council election was larger than most years.

“In a non-mayoral city election, turnout was higher than what we’ve normally seen in these types of elections,” Shively said.

Republicans are losing a seat on the Lincoln City Council after Tuesday’s election saw Sändra Washington and Bennie Shobe win re-election, while challenger Tom Beckius defeated incumbent Roy Christensen, giving Democrats six of the seven seats on the city council.

Due to the pandemic, and perhaps convenience, early voting is becoming increasingly more prevalent in elections. It’s an area where Democrats dominated on Tuesday.

“Democrats have invested in an early voting strategy really for the last decade,” Nebraska Democratic Party chair Jane Kleeb said. “Then when COVID hit, we were much more well-prepared than the Republicans because we had a system in place already.”

“Voters are continually using the early vote method, whether it’s by mail, or in person here at our office, to vote, and I think that number is gonna grow dramatically,” Shively said.

Samuel Lyon, who organized a movement to recall the mayor last year, says he’s disappointed that two-thirds of Lincoln voters decided to stay home.

“Just because you provide somebody the opportunity to vote, doesn’t mean that they’ll take that opportunity, and that’s what we saw yesterday,” Lyon said.

Shively says non-mayoral city election turnout is typically in the neighborhood of 20 to 25%. In this year’s city council election, voter turnout was 29.15%. He says there are several reasons why people should get involved in local politics.

“Whether it’s roads we drive on, our parks, our libraries, our police force, there are so many things that that we deal with on a daily basis that I think voters should should should look at,” Shively said.

Shively says he expects election results to be certified as soon as Friday afternoon and no later than Tuesday of next week.

Categories: Election News, Lancaster, Nebraska News, News