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Third-party voting application causes confusion among Douglas County voters

Published: Aug. 19, 2020 at 2:26 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - A letter sent to Douglas County voters is causing some confusion on how to request an early ballot for the upcoming November election.

The letter is from The Center for Voter Information out of Missouri. The organization states they are a non-government nonprofit organization encouraging voters to vote by mail, but officials here say the letter seems to be doing more harm than good.

This week, more than 90,000 residents of Douglas County received a letter from the nonprofit encouraging voters to use mail-in ballots for the upcoming election.

CVI provides an official Nebraska early voting ballot application, but there is a warning on the letter telling voters that filling out the form is not necessary if you have already submitted a request for an early ballot by mail.

The Douglas County Election Commissioner says his office has tried to work with this organization before.

“We’ve tried repeatedly to work with them, and we’ve asked them not to send this mailing for confusion,” Douglas County Election Commissioner Brian Kruse said. They do voter registration mailing and they’re often mailing to deceased voters or voters who’ve moved out of state and you know the unfortunate part is they just haven’t been real cooperative with us.”

Kruse says the letters do cause confusion with voters. Roberta Pleis received one of the mailings.

“I was really confused, I don’t know what if it did the same as these and so I discarded that and filled these out because they were the first to arrive,” said Pleis.

Patty Noland took no chances; she dropped off the green cards sent out by the election commissioner.

“I just don’t want to get involved with mail and have the mail slow down the process or anything like that,” Noland said. “So there’s four of us living at our house — we’re just going to fill them out and drop them off at the box.”

The early ballot application in the CVI notice comes with a postage-paid envelope. The address is for the Douglas County Election Commissioners Office, but the envelope is addressed to the Douglas County Clerk.

“If you mail this to us, it probably will get here because of our address, but we can’t guarantee that because again they use the wrong information,” Kruse said.

If you have already filled out and returned a green card requesting an early ballot, officials stress: Don’t send in the third-party application.

“It just bogs the system down and we have touched all these and they’re what we call duplicate,” said Kruse.

Kruse says the best bet for Douglas County voters is to stay with your local officials use the green cards sent from the Douglas County Commissioners officer to request an early voting ballot. Officials don’t advise you to use a third party to help with your vote.

“You know in the political climate we’re in and with the post office issues we’re having it just makes things harder and we just don’t need that right now,” said Kruse.

Have questions?

If you need any help or have any questions call the election commissioner’s office at 402-444- 8683.

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