Election 2022: Two weeks from Nebraska elections, safeguards in place

He simply wants as many people as possible in Douglas County to have the chance to vote and to let them know they still have time to get registered and vote.
Two weeks from Tuesday, it will be down to counting ballots as Nebraskans cast their votes in the general election.
Published: Oct. 25, 2022 at 10:58 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - Nebraska voters will elect a new governor in two weeks and Douglas County election commissioner Brian Kruse is out in the county stumping for votes.

No votes for any particular candidate, since the job is non-partisan. He simply wants as many people as possible in Douglas County to have the chance to vote and to let them know they still have time to get registered and vote.

Kruse and his tag team partner deputy commissioner Chris Carruthers have been visiting three or four groups per day, businesses, non-profits, civic groups, to explain the modern voting process and reassure voters.

“Our philosophy at the election commission is, we’re nonpartisan, we’re here to make sure people’s voices and their votes are heard,” Douglas County election commissioner Brad Kruse said. “We try and give the voter every opportunity to make sure that their voice is heard and voters in Douglas County should be assured and reassured that their voices will be heard. We’ve got numerous, numerous safeguards in place from early voting, checking signatures to physical security, machine security, the whole gamut of it.”

So far less than 50% of those receiving early ballots have returned them to the commission. Drop boxes are available anytime, the offices are open at the Douglas County Commission on 120th Street from 8:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. on weekdays leading up to election day. The commission also has Saturday hours for the next two weekends.

“We’re just really encouraging voters to get those ballots back into us as soon as you’re comfortable,” Kruse said. “They’ve got to be in our possession by 8:00 p.m. on November 8, election night, postmarks don’t count. And please don’t mail those after November 1, that’s what the post office recommends in order to make sure that they’re in our possession safe and sound.”

While you can no longer register online, you can do so in the office or by downloading a form and returning it by Friday. As for those who have not yet returned their early ballot, Kruse said there’s a bonus in getting them in as soon as you feel comfortable. You can go online and make sure your vote was accepted.

“Once you’ve put your ballot into a drop box or taken it to the post office, you can go to our website and click the envelope, you’ll give a little information and it’ll track you, it’ll tell you if your ballots been accepted or rejected,” Kruse said. “The vast majority are accepted, obviously the number one reason it’s rejected is folks forget to sign that envelope.”

If your ballot was rejected or you forgot to sign it, the sooner you learn the better chance you have of avoiding having to stand in line on election day.

“If you see it’s been rejected, you should have gotten an email or phone call from our office, but if you see it’s been rejected give us a call at (402) 444-VOTE,” Kruse said. “You do not have to request a new ballot, they have the ability to come down to our office before election night at 8:00 p.m., sign that, and then we’ll accept it.”