Guide to Voting by Mail in Douglas County

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, voting by mail is more important than ever for the May 12 primary election. Voting by mail is always an option in Nebraska elections, but this year, it’s an even better option as it can help protect yourself and others during this outbreak. LWVGO is working to especially promote voting by mail as a way to safely continue to participate in democracy and make sure your voice is heard in this important vote.

The county election commissions of Sarpy and Douglas counties have agreed to send postcards to registered voters. In the coming weeks, they will sending postcards to registered voters’ mailing addresses to encourage them to join the early/vote-by-mail list.

  • Voters already on the permanent early vote list will get a postcard.
  • Registered voters not already on the permanent or 2020 election early vote/vote-by-mail lists will get a postcard.

You must return the postcard to get on the early/vote-by-mail list. Send it back to the election commission at the address on the postcard (stamp required). Then the election commission will start sending out ballots on April 6.

Return the ballot by mail OR dropbox by May 8 to meet the election deadline of May 12.

If You Don’t Receive a Postcard, or If You’d Like to Get on the Vote By Mail List Today

You don’t have to wait for the postcard — registered voters (of all parties, including nonpartisan voters) can request a mail-in ballot for any reason.

The following is a guide to voting by mail in the May 12. 2020 statewide primary for voters in Douglas County, Nebraska. Make sure your voice is heard in this important election! And please share this information to your network of friends and neighbors.

Here are the general steps to voting by mail:

  1. Register to vote/make sure you’re registered. (Can be done online.)
  2. Request a mail-in ballot from the Douglas County Election Commission. (Can be done via mail, fax, email or in-person drop-off.)
  3. Fill out your ballot.
  4. Return your ballot. (Can be done by mail, drop-off at an election commission dropbox, or in-person drop-off.)

Read on to learn more.

Register to Vote

To vote in the 2020 primary election, voters must be registered. Get registered as soon as possible — your registration will need to be valid before requesting a mail-in ballot.

Eligibility to Register to Vote

To register to vote in Nebraska, you must be:

  1. A resident of Nebraska;
  2. A U.S. citizen;
  3. At least 18 years old by the time of the November election (November 3, 2020);
  4. Without a felony conviction OR “off paper” for two years following the completion of a sentence for a felony conviction.

Voter Registration Deadlines for the 2020 Primary

To vote in the 2020 primary election, you must be registered by no later than April 27, 2020 if registering by mail, online, at a community agency, library, DMV office, at a community event by deputy registrar. May 1, 2020 at 6 p.m. is the cutoff for walk-in registration at the Douglas County Election Commission office, 12220 W Center Road, Omaha.

Registering to Vote Online

Nebraskans with a Nebraska driver’s licence or state ID can register to vote online. Do so here: nebraska.gov/apps-sos-voter-registration.

You can also use the online voter registration to change your party affiliation and update your address, if needed. (Remember to do this before the April 27 deadline.)

Check Your Registration

Validate your registration online by looking yourself up on the Nebraska voter view website: votercheck.necvr.ne.gov/VoterView/RegistrantSearch.do.

Registration FAQ

What if I am registered at my parents address, but I am away at college?

If you are registered at your parent’s home, you may request an early ballot to vote by mail. Or you can register at your college address.

What if I live in a shelter and want to vote?

You can register to vote with the address of the shelter where you live.

What if I am homeless and have no address?

You can register and use your Election Commission as your address.

What if I am in a County Jail and want to vote?

Register to vote with the address of the jail at this website. You will vote by requesting an early vote by mail ballot. Misdemeanors or time in jail do not make citizens ineligible to vote. A convicted ex-felon can vote 2 years after completion of the entire sentence including probation/parole and post release supervision.

Request a Mail-In Ballot

Any Douglas County voter who was registered prior to the voter registration deadline is eligible to request an early voting ballot, either by mail, in person, or by agent. Find out more on the Douglas County Election Commission website: votedouglascounty.com/early_voting.aspx.

Requesting By Mail

To submit your request by mail, fill in the request form mailed to you and return that, or fill in the online request form, download that, then mail that request back to the Douglas County Election Commission.

Add a standard stamp to an envelope with your request and address the envelop to:

Douglas County Election Commission

12220 W Center Road

Omaha, NE

68144

Requesting By Email

Fill in the online request form, download that, then mail that request back to the Douglas County Election Commission at earlyvoting@votedouglascounty.com.

Deadline to Request a Ballot

To vote by mail in the 2020 primary, you must have your request for a mail-in ballot back to the Douglas County Election Commission by no later than May 1, 2o20.

Receiving Your Ballot

The Douglas County Election Commission will begin mailing out ballots on April 6, 2020. Ballots will will go out in gold-colored envelops that look like this:

Filling Out Your Ballot

Fill out your ballot as you would at your polling place! You can get more information from the nonpartisan voter-information site vote411.org.

Important: When you’re ready to return your ballot, put it in the return envelope that was mailed to you with the ballot. Seal the envelope and then make sure you sign the back. The vote will only be counted if the envelope is signed on the line at the bottom:

Return Your Ballot

You can return your completed ballot in its signed and sealed envelope to the Douglas County Election Commission office by mail, in person or by dropping it off at one of the dropbox locations.

Find the dropbox locations in the map below, or on the Election Commission website.

If dropping off, you don’t need a stamp.

Check Your Mail-In Ballot Status

You can check the status of your mail-in ballot on the voter check website: votercheck.necvr.ne.gov/VoterView/AbsenteeBallotSearch.do.

Conclusion

Make sure your voice is heard and vote no matter what — consider voting by mail this election! For more information, contact the Election Commission at 402-444-8683.

Did You Know? Douglas County Voters Can Return Early Ballots via Anytime Dropboxes

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: If you have an early-voting ballot and are a Douglas County voter, you can return that ballot by mail or drop it off at any of the following locations. You can do this any time between April 16 and May 14.

Learn more about the primary through our quick guide to voting.

Downtown Omaha
City/County Building
Located: Between 18th & 19th on Farnam, near sidewalk
1819 Farnam Street, Omaha

South Omaha
South Omaha Library
Located: Southwest corner of building
2808 Q Street, Omaha

North Omaha
Charles B. Washington Branch Library
Located: Southwest corner of building
2868 Ames Avenue, Omaha

Ralston
Ralston Police Department
Located: Southwest corner of building
7400 Main Street, Ralston

Northwest Omaha
Milton R. Abrahams Branch Library
Located: South of main entrance
5111 N 90th Street, Omaha

West Omaha 
Douglas County Election Commission
Located: South of main entrance
225 N 115th Street, Omaha
Drive-Up Box, Located: South side of median
Davenport Street between 114th & 115th, Omaha

Douglas County Engineer’s Office
Located: Near sidewalk by parking stalls
15505 W Maple Road, Omaha

Millard
Millard Public Schools Foundation
Located: Northwest corner of building
5225 South 159th Avenue, Omaha

Elkhorn
Bess Johnson Elkhorn Branch Library
Located: Northeast corner of building
2100 Reading Plaza, Elkhorn

LWVGO Welcomes New Permanent Vote-by-Mail/Early Voting Request List

The League of Women Voters of Greater Omaha commends the Douglas County Election Commission for enacting a permanent vote-by-mail list. This empowers Douglas County voters to opt into automatically receiving a postcard ahead of every election. This postcard asks the voter if they would like to receive a ballot mailed to them for that election. If they would like to vote early/by mail, the voter sends the postcard back and then receives a ballot in the mail. The voter then mails in (or drops off) their ballot to vote.

Per the Douglas County Election Commission’s media release:
Beginning with the 2018  Statewide Gubinatorial Election, voters may place themselves on Douglas County Early Voting Request List. Voters on this list will be sent an early voting ballot application postcard prior to every scheduled election. When the postcard is received, voters may simply complete the response portion and return it to our office, thereby requesting an early voting ballot to be mailed to the address of their choice.
All early voting ballot applications issued by the Douglas County Election Commission will now include an option for voters to add their name to the Early Voting Request List for future elections.

Voters who would like to request an early voting ballot for the Nov. 6, 2018 election and want to opt in to receive election-notification postcards before every election can get more information from the Douglas County Election Commission’s website.

The League of Women Voters of Greater Omaha is a nonpartisan political organization that envisions a democracy where every person has the desire, the right, the knowledge, and the confidence to participate in elections.

Voting by mail is a proven method that decreases county cost and increases voter turnout. This plan removes barriers to voting for citizens who work long hours, attend school or have transportation issues.

We believe our democracy is strongest when all citizens can vote and we applaud the Douglas County Election Commission for its consistent commitment to increasing voter turnout.