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Getting the vote out, sometimes cross districts

Posted at 6:10 PM, Nov 05, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-05 23:10:40-05

While election officials are predicting higher voter turnout for the midterm election, the push to get voters to the polls sometimes goes beyond district lines.

Especially, when it comes to Nebraska's 2nd Congressional District, which many view as a swing district.

"There's a lot of focus from national groups and people who are on either side interested in flipping that seat or maintaining that seat because the balance of power is on the line," said Rod Edwards, a Republican consultant.

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Wahoo native Carlie Jonas isn't as concerned about her congressional race as she is with District 2, where Republican incumbent Don Bacon faces Democratic challenger Kara Eastman.

She works for the grassroots-organization Progressive Turnout Project. The group's mission is to get Democrats to the polls.

Jonas commutes several times a week for 40 minutes in hopes of a blue wave, she says.

"This is the district where there's the best opportunity or the best chance for a Democrat to become elected," Jonas said.

Getting out the vote is nothing new, but the influx of text messages and phone calls from numbers outside the area is growing increasingly visible.

Both parties are targeting specific areas to mobilize voters.

"Organizations and groups from outside the Omaha metro area are also interested and that's why you're getting text messages or phone calls from out-of-state numbers," Edwards said.

At Progressive Turnout Project, which set up an Omaha location over the summer, sometimes staff concentrate on races outside of Nebraska after completing their local outreach for the day.

What remains to be seen is whether local or outsourced mobilization will lead to an unprecedented turnout as predicted.