The campaigning is over. It’s decision time in the 2022 Nebraska primary election.

By: - May 10, 2022 4:00 am

(Stephen Maturen/Getty Images)

Nebraska voters head to the polls Tuesday with a number of major races on the ballot, from the Republican primary for governor to the Democratic primary in the 2nd Congressional District, as well as primaries for other statewide, congressional, and legislative seats.

Here’s a primer to help voters on primary Election Day 2022.

Where to vote

Check your polling place on the Nebraska Secretary of State’s website. Just enter your name and address.

When to vote

Polling places in Nebraska are open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. CDT Tuesday (7 a.m. to 7 p.m. MDT). 

A garden of campaign signs sprouts outside a polling place near Joslyn Castle in Omaha. (Courtesy of James D. Fogarty)

Early ballots

Early voting ballots must be returned before the polls close Tuesday. They must be taken directly to your county election office or dropped in an approved early ballot drop box in your home county by 8 p.m. CDT (7 p.m. MDT). An employee or volunteer will ensure that every ballot returned on time will be counted.

People casting early ballots can check the status of their ballots on the Nebraska Secretary of State’s website.

Buyer beware

Voters in eastern Nebraska’s 1st Congressional District, which includes Lincoln, Bellevue, Norfolk and other communities, need to know that while former U.S. Rep. Jeff Fortenberry’s name is on the ballot, he has said he will not run. He resigned his post in March after being convicted of three felonies, but ballots had already been printed.

If Fortenberry won the Republican nomination for the seat, he would need to file a form to decline the nomination by Aug. 1 to remove himself from the general election ballot. That would trigger a ballot vacancy, which the Nebraska Republican Party could fill.

In that case, the members of the Republican State Central Committee who live in the 1st District would select who faces the Democratic Party’s primary nominee in the general election. 

By contrast, the executive committee of the state GOP selected State Sen. Mike Flood as the GOP nominee in a June 28 special election, which will determine who fills the 1st District seat between late June and early January.   

Who votes for governor

Registered Democrats and registered nonpartisans do not get to participate in the Nebraska Republican Party’s closed state primary election, including for governor. Nonpartisans can request a Democratic Party primary ballot for state races or one for the Legal Marijuana Now Party or the Libertarian Party. Nonpartisan voters can still request a federal ballot for the GOP and vote in the congressional primary.

Who to call 

If you experience a problem while voting, call your local county election office. The Nebraska Secretary of State’s Office says every polling place should have a sheet of paper posted with the local election office phone number. 

Who’s winning and losing?

The first results from Election Day will start rolling in at 8 p.m. CDT Tuesday and 7 p.m. MDT. Statewide results will be available at the Nebraska Secretary of State’s website, with results from any of the state’s 93 counties refreshed every five minutes:

Voters in Nebraska’s three most populated counties can also check local results online.

Douglas County Election Commission:

Sarpy County Election Commission:

Lancaster County Election Commission:

Too close to call? 

The trigger for an automatic recount in Nebraska is 1% of the top vote-getter’s tally. If the difference between first and second is less than 1%, once election results are certified, then an automatic recount will be conducted.

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Aaron Sanderford
Aaron Sanderford

Political reporter Aaron Sanderford has tackled various news roles in his 20-plus year career. He has reported on politics, crime, courts, government and business for the Omaha World-Herald and Lincoln Journal-Star. He also worked as an assignment editor and editorial writer. He was an investigative reporter at KMTV.

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