The Douglas County Election Commission is going to make it easier than ever to vote in the upcoming Presidential Primary Election. Dave Phipps announced Friday that early voting request forms will be sent to all registered voters in the county. Phipps says that is unprecedented.
Absentee balloting has been around for more than a quarter of a century. Since 2000, ballots have been available to anyone without an excuse.
Recently, Phipps took some heat after the commission decided to reduce the number of precincts and polling places. That would have required some voters to travel longer distances if they wanted to vote the traditional way.
The decisions were made following the 2010 Census which required the redistricting and redrawing of precincts. The prevalence of early voting, mail-in balloting, low voter turnout, and a need to cut expenses also played into the changes.
The election commission has also decided to install early voting ballot drop boxes throughout the county in addition to the one already in place outside the election office.
The drop boxes will be located at the following places:
Charles B Washington Branch Library 2868 Ames Avenue
The South Omaha Library, 2808 Q Street
The Bess Johnson Elkhorn Branch Library, 2100 Reading Plaza
Millard Public Schools Foundation, 5225 S. 159th Avenue
The boxes will be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week for as long as early voting is happening.
Early voting for the Presidential Primary begins April 9 and ends 8pm election day May 15.
The election commission is also creating an advisory committee to work with members of the public from across the county to discuss the election process and receive input.
Phipps says he regrets that there was a lack of communication between his office and the public.
His office earlier agreed to change the polling location for Ward 2, Precinct 9 from Christ Child North Center to Evans Tower. Unfortunately, the decision was made when information cards were in the process of being printed and mailed. Some voters received old information. Those voters will receive multiple letters to assure they received correct information.