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Douglas County Election Commissioner addresses mail-in ballot concerns

Posted at 10:15 PM, Sep 30, 2020

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — If you watched the presidential debate Tuesday night, you probably heard many concerns about the legitimacy of mail-in voting.

Douglas County Election Commissioner Brian Kruse sat down with 3 News Now on Wednesday to address some of these concerns.

One of the big questions being asked is if voters can trust the United States postal service to deliver their ballots.

Kruse says while mistakes can happen, he believes they are few and far between and are not done deliberately.

"They’re good an honorable people; they're out there to do their best, just like we are," Kruse said. "And so yes, the post office is a valuable partner of ours.”

Only about 1% of mail in ballots are rejected, but they usually share a common issue which is that the voter forgot to sign the envelope before sending it off. This signature is used to verify that you are the person who filled out the ballot.

“Then we look at the signatures on file, and we determine whether we believe that is your signature or we need further verification," he said.

If your ballot is rejected, you will likely be contacted by your party of choice or a nonpartisan group like Civic Nebraska. The election commission will not notify you, but you can check your ballot status online or call the office at (402) 444 - 8683 (VOTE).

It's also important that if you get a mail-in ballot, that you do not vote in person. Voting twice in an election is a felony.

“If you vote by mail ballot and turn it in, and then you go and vote a provisional ballot, we will catch you," Kruse said. "That’s why we have the 10 days to verify those, and we will catch up with you. So don’t do it.”

Mail-in votes will begin being counted the day before the election, though this information will not be shared even with Kruse until Tuesday night.

Provisional ballots have about two weeks to be counted after Election Day, so results will not be final on November 3.

“Election results are always, always unofficial until we certify the election which is about three weeks after the election," Kruse said.

You can drop off your mail-in ballot in several drop boxes in the area. If you are sending you ballot by mail, it is suggested you do that by October 27 at the latest.

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