OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — Friday, April 23rd at 6 p.m. was the deadline to register to vote in City of Omaha elections if you were going to do so via mail, drop box or DMV. Residents can still register online until 11:59 p.m. on the 23rd.
If you missed that deadline but still want to participate in the city elections, you can register to vote in person at the Douglas County Election Commission until Friday, April 30th.
Election Commissioner, Brian Kruse, says national elections usually see more engagement but he's hoping the high voter turnout for last year's presidential election translates into this year's local ones.
Mayoral candidate RJ Neary says local elections are just as important as national ones.
"Local elections affect people’s lives more directly than national elections and the mayor’s race, mayors can make more change and who you vote for mayor has more effect on your day-to-day life than any other election and I hope people are getting out and get engaged and vote in this race," Neary said. "Your roads, your garbage, your transportation, climate change can be changed on the local level, we’re just not getting it done on the national level."
Mayor Jean Stothert, who is running for re-election says voting is the best way to get your voice heard.
"Voting is how we hold our elected officials accountable, and we only get our jobs if the voters give us those jobs and so I certainly encourage everyone to vote. It is our right and responsibility. Our vote does matter and the only way it won’t matter is if you don’t vote," Stothert said.
Kruse says turnout for the primaries was higher than what we've seen in the past and he's hoping to see the same in the generals.
"I'm hoping for 35% at least, maybe 40%. We’ve got two good candidates for mayor we’ve got the city council districts, there’s some highly contested ones there, so there’s really a reason for people to get out and get their voice heard," Kruse said.
Mail-in ballots will be sent out Monday, April 25. If you received one for the primaries you will automatically receive one for the generals. Early in-person voting also begins Monday but polls will be open on election day, May 11 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.