In the run-up to the 2018 election, we’re posting quick facts about voting to help you get out and go vote, Omaha!
Today’s fact: Many people believe that being convicted of a felony crime takes away a person’s right to vote forever. The rules on this vary state by state but few states permanently take away the right to vote for citizens with felony convictions.
In Nebraska, citizens temporarily lose their “citizenship rights,” including the right to vote, upon felony conviction. However, the right to vote is automatically restored for returning citizens two years after they complete all of the terms of their sentence, whether that “includes incarceration without parole, incarceration with parole, probation or any combination of sentences.”
This is often called “being off paper” and means that Nebraskans with felony convictions can register to vote after
- completing the entire sentence (including any incarceration, parole and/or probation) and
- waiting two years after completing the entire sentence.
If you meet these criteria, you can register to vote without petitioning the court. You will not be automatically registered two years after getting off paper (even if you were registered before), you’re just automatically eligible to register yourself. Find out more about registering to vote.
Misdemeanor Convictions and Time in Custody
Time in custody, including time awaiting trial, does not take away your right to vote (unless you already have a felony conviction and are not off paper).
Misdemeanor convictions do not take away your right to vote.
You can still register to vote and vote by mail/early or in person if you’ve spent time in custody — even if you’re currently in custody — or if you have a misdemeanor conviction. Find out more about registering to vote.
Download the early-voting application, then mail in your request, bring it into your county election commission office or email it in:
Vote411.org is a comprehensive guide to city, state and federal elections across the country. LWVGO uploads information specific to Douglas County to help voters in the Greater Omaha area make informed voting choices.
You can use this site to find info on how to register to vote, how to report any Election Day issues and find all kinds of info on voter eligibility, polling place locations and more.
You can also use Vote411 to compare candidates and print out your ballot selections to help you prepare for voting. Vote411 pulls candidate information from our nonpartisan voters’ guide and tailors what races and ballot issues you see based on your address. You can review where candidates running for office in your community stand on the issues, make selections for the candidates and issues you’d like to vote for, then save or print those selections to use a guide or reference when you actually vote. Vote411 does not collect personal information or store your address or selections (so your data will be lost when you leave the page).
Read the full guide below to get to know Vote411 and get prepared to go vote, Omaha!
Note: Any candidates, races or selections shown are selected randomly and for demonstrative purposes only. The League of Women Voters of Greater Omaha is a nonpartisan organization that never supports or opposes political parties or candidates.
How to Create a Personalized Voting Guide Using Vote411
To get voting information customized to you, navigate to Vote411.org and enter your address.
With your address entered, click Enter to continue. You’ll see a box with links for info “At a glance.” You can click the link to verify that your registration is correct, get polling place location and more. To create your personalized voting guide, click the green link to Get personalized information on candidates and issues.
This will take you to the beginning of the Personalized Ballot. The next step is Choose My Party. Use the dropdown to select the political party matching your registration, keeping in mind that Nonpartisans should select “None of These.” Then click Go to My Races.
You’ll see a list of races that you’re eligible to vote for based on your address and political party. For example, the screenshot below shows the races for a Nonpartisan voter who lives in downtown Omaha.
Select a row or click Make Selection to view the issue or candidate information for that race and to make a selection for your personalized voting guide. For ballot issues, you’ll see a description of the issue and the question you’ll vote on, just as you’ll see it on your ballot when you go to vote. Read the ballot question and then mark “yes” or “no” to add that answer to your ballot guide. You can skip the question by clicking the > beside Next Race or by clicking View My Races. If you make a selection, the application will automatically take you to the next issue or race on your list.
For races with just two candidates, you’ll automatically see a comparison of the candidates, showing their biographical info and answers to questions as they submitted them to LWVGO for our nonpartisan voters’ guide. You can read their answers and make a selection or skip this race.
For races with more than two candidates, you’ll see a list of all candidates and will be prompted to choose two to compare. You can compare two, go back, select another set and continue as needed to make your selection.
When you’ve made selections for or viewed all races, you’ll see a full list of all your selections. You can navigate back to make edits, review info or change your selections. When finished, click Finish.
Note: Any selections shown are made randomly and only for demonstrative purposes. The League of Women Voters of Greater Omaha is a nonpartisan organization that never supports or opposes political parties or candidates.
Enter your phone number, email or both to get your selections emailed or texted to you.
You can repeat this process however many times you like, saving and printing your results as needed.
The League of Women Voters of Metro Columbus (Ohio) put together the following short video on how to register and vote, specifically speaking to college students. Check it out!
Note: The websites in the video are specific to Ohio, but you can register to vote in Nebraska here (as long as you have a valid NE DL/ID): www.nebraska.gov/apps-sos-voter-registration. Or find out more about registering in your home state at vote.org.
THREE STEPS TO VOTING IN DOUGLAS AND SARPY COUNTIES (Arabic)
Translated to Arabic by: Nibras Al-Kadhim, OPS
Each time you vote in any election, you help yourself, your family and your community. The voting process can be confusing, so here are three steps to help you vote: Register, be Informed and Vote.
STEP 1: REGISTER TO VOTE
(the first time and each time you move from your home, change the name or change your party)
- Who can vote: Anyone who is a citizen of the United States, who lives in Nebraska, and who is 18 years of age. Offenders (convicted) can vote after 2 years of having completed the sentence.
- How to register: On the internet, go to vote411.org only if you have a driver’s license or state identification (ID) with your current address.
- Register in person at the Electoral Commission Office, the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), public libraries, Public Assistance Offices, and WIC clinics.
- If you are not sure if you have registered, check the site: votercheck.necvr.ne.gov
STEP 2: BE INFORMED
- What issues interest you? Get real information about the candidates and their positions on the issues that interest you.
- Commercials and television ads are not always accurate.
- The League of Women Voters (LWV) publishes an impartial Guide for Voters with information about the candidates on the site vote411.org or the paper version available in public libraries.
- Watch the videos of the local candidate forums on the lwvgo.org site
- You do not have to vote for each office / candidate listed on the ballot, you can leave blank boxes on the ballot
STEP 3: VOTING OPTIONS (Choose one)
VOTE FROM YOUR HOME
- Request the Early Voting Ballot from the Nebraska Secretary of State or the County Electoral Commission, complete it and return it by mail to the Electoral Commission; You can also write your name, date of birth, address, your telephone number and sign on a blank sheet of paper. Take a photo and email it to your county election office. ( email@example.com or earlyvote@Sarpy.com )
- They will send you the ballot by mail to your home. Fill out the ballot, sign the envelope and return it in the return envelope that is included.
- Return the ballot by mail no later than 5 days before the day of the election using a regular mail stamp.
EARLY VOTE IN PERSON
- Vote in the Electoral Commission Office; during office hours (Douglas County, 225 N. 115 St., Omaha 402-444-8683 / Sarpy County 501 Olson Drive, Suite 4 Papillion, 402-593-2167).
VOTE ELECTION DAY
- Go to your assigned polling place on election day, from 8am to 8pm. If you do not know where you have to vote, go to the Electoral Commission website. votercheck.necvr.ne.gov
- If you ask for a ballot to be sent home, you can not vote at the polling place.
- All voting centers in Nebraska must be accessible to voters with disabilities. For information on accommodating voters with disabilities, visit: http://www.sos.ne.gov/elec/pdf/voter_disability_rights.pdf
The League of Women Voters of Greater Omaha held a moderated candidate forum for the candidates for Nebraska Public Service Commission, District 3. The candidates in this partisan race are: Mike Forsythe (D) and Tim Schram (R).
You can watch all our candidate forums and see all of our 2018 elections info under “2018 ELECTIONS” on our home page. You can find out which Public Service subdivision you live in on the PSC website.
The League of Women Voters of Greater Omaha is a nonpartisan organization that never supports or opposes any candidate for office or political party. LWVGO’s mission is to inform and empower voters.