Election officials prepare for the Omaha area code while ensuring security in the elections
OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) – Thousands of votes have already been cast in Omaha’s city primaries.
Douglas County reviews its electoral equipment before each election. Today they did a test deck of voting papers for tomorrow’s primary in town.
While the tests are in progress, voters make their way to the election commissioners’ office to cast their ballots in the area code. There is constant traffic going all the way to Dropbox and it seems like voters are paying attention to the local races.
“Well, I think they should be just as important as the national elections,” said one voter.
Douglas County officials say 58,000 people voted in the recent Omaha primary. This year around 50,000 early voting papers for the upcoming area code have already been returned.
Officials say it is too late to mail your early ballot paper. To get your voting papers on time, you need to use the drop boxes.
“If you come to our office before 8:00 p.m. tomorrow night, please don’t mail it in the US. Postmarks don’t count, they have to be in our possession. We had 88% of the vote in the mail last May, 65% in the General President, and I’m looking for roughly the same thing in this election. Frankly, two-thirds by mail, one-third at the polling station, ”said Brian Kruse, Douglas County’s electoral commission.
Election Commissioner Kruse says while many people vote by mail, the district will be ready for personal votes. He also says that state elections and postal voting are secured, and while there are others who do not believe this, he wants to ensure voters that proper procedures are in place.
“Here in our office you have to request a voting slip, we don’t send out voting slips automatically. We have two people from different parties emptying the dropboxes, we have cameras on our dropboxes. This facility is obviously very safe, we have cameras everywhere, ”said Kruse.
Douglas County officials note that many people have been vaccinated but ask that they wear a mask when they come to the vote to vote.
Polls for the Omaha primaries will open at 8 a.m. tomorrow morning. The top two candidates will advance to the general election on May 11th.
Officials say all 174 polling stations are safe for those who vote and for voters.
“Even if you received your vaccine, please wear a mask to the polling station tomorrow or accept one of us to protect your polling colleagues and your voters,” said Kruse.
Mail-in polls have reduced the number of people who vote in person, but participants will still find their way to the polls. Election Commissioner Kruse says it is important to keep the polling stations in the neighborhood open and safe. He also said his staff had been vaccinated.
“We had to do some kind of on-call duty where if there were any vaccines left at the end of the day they would notify me and our staff would leave. But we are Dr. Pour very grateful that they did that for us. I will say that 100% of my full-time employees have been vaccinated and about 50% of the remaining employees, ”said Kruse.
He says precautions for COVID-19 at polling stations will be the same as for presidential elections, hand sanitizer, social distancing and wearing masks.
“In November, almost a hundred thousand voters showed up at your November polling station, and you know that there was no transmission of the disease at a polling station known to us,” said Kruse.
Douglas County officials expect two-thirds of the votes in the area code to come from postal ballot papers.
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