Bigger than usual turnout expected in Omaha Primary Election

Published: Apr. 6, 2021 at 5:24 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - The Douglas County election commissioner says he thinks another 10,000 votes will be turned into these drop boxes.

The deadline at the drop boxes is just like at a polling site. The ballot must be in the box by 8 p.m. tonight or it won’t’ be counted.

It’s unlikely to be one of those elections that drag into the night, mostly because early votes will likely surpass all the votes cast in the primary four years ago.

Those numbers will be released first, right after polls close at 8 p.m. In-person voting has been relatively quiet if you ask poll workers, we did a spot check mid-afternoon at the Omaha Community Playhouse and a couple of nearby churches.

One staffer chuckled when we asked if they’d been busy. For fairness, primary elections don’t usually bring out large turnouts. So it’s different to know if all the early voting is new voters or the ones that were planning to vote in person, if not for a pandemic.

A couple of the city races feature just two candidates, so both will face each other again on May 11.

“I think it will be an interesting barometer of where things stand now. But I am also planning on spending the next five weeks connecting with voters, issues like fixing the streets, keeping our neighborhoods safe, and to move our community out of the pandemic,” said Sara Kohen, city council candidate for District 7.

“I think you’re gauging the support you’ve earned up to now. So it’s almost like a real-life poll of how you’ll do in the general election. I don’t treat the primary any differently when there are two people moving through,” said Aimee Melton, city council candidate for District 7.

Many are expecting a similar story for the general election in five weeks. The election commissioner believes those numbers will account for around two-thirds of the vote.

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