Largest voter participation in Douglas County's history expected

Posted at 9:31 AM, May 12, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-12 10:31:10-04

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — Despite the coronavirus, officials say early voting numbers are up, and this will be a record breaking day when it comes to voter participation.

"We are asking voters to use every third one, so leave two in between," said Douglas County Election Commissioner Brian Kruse. "Voters do not have to use a voting booth if they don't feel comfortable. They can fill the ballot out in the open, just standing in a private place."

Due to the coronavirus your polling location may have changed, but churches and other buildings have opened their doors.

"We had to move out of nursing facilities, Omaha Housing Authority. Some places didn't feel comfortable doing it, but we have moved to a lot of schools," Kruse said. "A lot of schools across Douglas County have been wonderful partners because school is out of course."

Voting takes place Tuesday from 8 am-8 pm. Depending on the number of people inside a polling location you may be asked to wait outside and practice social distancing by standing between the orange cones.

This year has also seen a lot of first time volunteers.

"No, I am not worried," said volunteer Bebe McCammond. "I am young and healthy. Giving an opportunity to people who do need to stay at home, that is what is important than anything else."

"I am excited to learn more about the process," said another volunteer, Richard Elver. "I always vote, but I don't know what happens to my ballot after I send it in, so I think I can learn about the process."

They already have a 100,000 early voting ballots to be counted.

"All of those voters out there who have voted early will have their voices heard first," said Kruse. "8:45pm will also be early voting, 9:45pm will be the first set of votes from Election Day."

The usual voter participation is 20%. They are expecting a record breaking 35% this year.

If you still have a ballot at home, do not put it in the mail. It has to be in the hands of the voting commission by 8 pm Tuesday.

So drop it off at a polling location or one of nine drop box. Don't forget to sign the back.

If you requested a by mail ballot, do not go to a polling place.