Election 2022: Checking in with Douglas, Pottawattamie counties as early voting winds down

Voters who want to cast their ballots in person ahead of Election Day have a few more hours to do so.
Published: Nov. 7, 2022 at 5:00 PM CST
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - Tens of thousands of voters have already cast their ballot for the midterm election here in Douglas County.

County Election Commissioner Brian Kruse told 6 news last week that strong interest this year in the race for Nebraska’s 2nd Congressional District in particular as well as the governor’s race has driven early voting turnout.

More than 41 million ballots have already been cast in the midterms across 47 states. That tops the early voting record set in 2018.

Many here have made their way to the Douglas County election commissioner’s office to cast their ballots in person.

The Douglas County election commissioner told 6 News that they’ve had 80,000 early voting ballots turned in so far, but it’s still too early to know if overall turnout will reach 2018 levels here since voting patterns may have changed in the last few years.

“There’s no question during the pandemic, voters became much more familiar with early voting; so in the presidential general, we had 63% of voters voted early,” Kruse said. “This time around, I think we will be pretty evenly spilt.”

Of those 80,000 already received, he said, “those are already to be counted, so we will count those today (Monday), and the results will be stored in our vault until tomorrow night — and those will be the first results reported at 8 pm tomorrow night.”

At last check, about 20,000 of the more than 100,000 early ballots handed out in Douglas County were still out.

Across the Missouri River, early voting in Pottawattamie County is not as busy as it was for the previous midterm election in 2018.

“Early voting is kind of down from where it was four years ago... about half,” said Melvyn Houser, Pottawattamie County auditor. “I couldn’t tell you why. One of the parties that normally sends out request forms, their party members did not this year — that might have been one reason.”

Houser said he hopes the lack of interest in early voting doesn’t carry over to Election Day.