November Election to Determine State, Local Races in Redrawn Nebraska Districts
Thursday, July 21, 2022
With November's elections just over the horizon, voter-rights groups are working to get Nebraskans up to speed on recent changes in voting districts based on 2020 census numbers.
New districts can mean changes in official polling locations, and Rachel Gibson - vice president for action with the League of Women Voters of Nebraska - said they also determine which candidates will appear on your ballot.
Gibson said she sees a perfect storm aligning that should make for an interesting and impactful election.
"The districts have changed. State Legislature term limits are in full swing," said Gibson, "meaning there is a significant number of state Senate seats that are on the ballot. And we are shifting more toward a mail-in ballot."
Gibson pointed voters to the Secretary of State's website to find out how to register and sign up for mail-in ballots, where to vote, and how to track your ballot once it's been cast: 'sos.nebraska.gov.'
The League plans to offer nonpartisan info on key issues and candidates at 'vote411.org'
Even after court cases and claims of voter irregularities produced zero evidence, roughly 70% of Republicans still believe fraud played a major role in the 2020 election, according to recent analysis by the Poynter Institute.
Gibson said she felt reassured after an official review showed that Nebraska's elections are both efficient and secure.
"I can follow my ballot online, I can see where it is in the process," said Gibson. "Our elections are run very, very locally. These are our friends, our neighbors, fellow church-goers, community members. Those are the people who are running our elections, they're folks we know and trust."
Voter turnout tends to drop in non-presidential elections, but Gibson said local races can have significant impacts on Nebraskan's daily lives.
Policy decisions on abortion law, tax cuts, K-12 curriculum standards, and housing assistance were all in play in this year's legislative session, and Gibson said the votes of just one or two senators frequently made the difference.
"The margin of victory in the past decade for some of those exact offices have been under 50 votes," said Gibson. "That's a pretty small margin. So the concept of 'eh, my vote doesn't really count,' it absolutely does."
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