How to Vote in Nebraska’s 2024 Elections

Posted on 01/31/24 by Michelle Tuccitto Sullo

En español

Important dates and election information

Key dates 

  • Presidential and state primary: Tuesday, May 14 
  • General election: Tuesday, Nov. 5

Voting at a glance

  • Absentee voting: Any registered voter can request an early voting (absentee) ballot, no reason or excuse required. 
  • Early in-person voting: The option to vote early and in person starts 30 days before a primary or general election and ends the day before Election Day. Monday, April 15 is the first day of early in-person voting for the May 14 primary. Monday, Oct. 7 is the first day of early in-person voting for the Nov. 5 general election.

What to know about recent changes

Under a 2023 law, voters must show an acceptable photo ID when voting, starting with the May 14, 2024, statewide primary.

Redistricting in 2021 changed boundaries of some state legislative and U.S. congressional districts and may affect which candidates appear on your ballot.

Voter registration

For the May 14 presidential and state primary, the deadline to register to vote online, at the Nebraska Department of Motor Vehicles or Departments of Education and Health and Human Services is Monday, April 29. Mailed voter registration forms must be postmarked no later than April 29. The last day for in-person voter registration is Friday, May 3.

Register to vote:

  • By mail: Print out the voter registration application from the secretary of state’s website. Mail the completed application to your county election office listed at the bottom of the form. If you're registering for the first time by mail, you must include a copy of either a current photo ID or a recent utility bill or another form of acceptable ID
  • In person: Visit your county election office or register when renewing or applying for a driver’s license at the DMV. The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services and Department of Education also let you register when filing applications and changes of address. 
  • Online: Visit the state’s voter registration portal to register online. This site is available 24/7. Have your driver’s license or state identification card available before you begin the application. 

Check your registration information by visiting Nebraska’s voter information website. Update your registration at the secretary of state’s voter registration portal.

Registering to vote on Election Day

Nebraska does not allow for registration on Election Day.

Primary voting and party affiliation

When voting in a partisan primary, those affiliated with a political party can only vote using their party’s ballot. If you register without a political party affiliation, you will receive only the nonpartisan ballots at a primary election.

If you are registered as nonpartisan, you can still vote in state and local nonpartisan races.

Ways to vote

Requesting an early voting (absentee) ballot

Nebraska is a no-excuse state, meaning any voter can request an early voting (absentee) ballot without a reason. For the May 14 primary, the deadline to submit your early voting ballot application is 6 p.m. on Friday, May 3.

Get an early voting ballot:

  • By mail or fax: Apply for an early voting (absentee) ballot by contacting your county election office via mail or fax. Follow the instructions on the form, which include providing your driver’s license or ID number and the address where the ballot should be sent, before submitting it to the county election office.  
  • Online: Obtain an online early voting application, available on the secretary of state’s website. After completing the form, mail, fax or scan (or take a picture) of your application and email it to your county election office. 

Starting with the May 14, 2024, primary, you’ll need to write your Nebraska driver’s license or state ID number on your ballot application or enclose a photocopy of your photo ID when applying. Voters with an acceptable reason for not having the required ID must include a reasonable impediment certification form with their ballot request. You can obtain the form from your county election official or at, under “What if I can’t get an ID?”

Find more information about the early voting ballot process on the secretary of state’s website.

Returning your early voting (absentee) ballot

To cast your completed early voting (absentee) ballot, it must be returned to your county election office by the close of polls on Election Day.

Mail the ballot, bring it into your county election office or place it in a secure drop box. Use the Nebraska Drop Box Locator to find one near you. All counties maintain at least one drop box.

Use Nebraska's online voter portal to track your early voting (absentee) ballots.

Voting in person before Election Day

You can vote in person at your county election office starting 30 days before a primary or general election and ending the day before Election Day. Hours may vary by location.

Voting at the polls on Election Day

Polls are open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. CT and 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. MT. The first election requiring voter ID will be the May 14, 2024, statewide primary election.

To find your polling place, visit the state's online voter information center or contact your county election office.

Some counties do all-mail voting, meaning there are no polling places. Voters in these counties will automatically receive their ballots in the mail before Election Day. Voters in by-mail precincts who wish to vote in person may vote at their county election official’s office on Election Day.

Voter ID requirements on Election Day

Starting with the May 14, 2024, primary, Nebraska voters must show a photo ID when casting ballots.

A variety of photo IDs — including Nebraska driver’s licenses, U.S. passports, military and tribal IDs, and hospital, assisted living and nursing home records — will be accepted, even if they’re expired.

You can get a free state ID for voting purposes from the Nebraska DMV. Find a full list of acceptable IDs on the Nebraska secretary of state’s website. If you forget to bring your ID, you can vote using a provisional ballot. You must bring a valid photo ID to your county election office on or before the Tuesday after the election for your vote to count.

Voters with a “reasonable impediment” — such as an illness or disability — can vote without an ID but must fill out additional paperwork. For more information, visit the secretary of state’s website or read Nebraska’s voter ID law brochure.

Voting with a disability

Voters with disabilities can apply to have a ballot sent to their home, hospital room, assisted living residence or long-term care facility. You may get assistance from election officials or a friend to help you vote. Curbside voting, in which a ballot is brought to your vehicle, is also available.

Polling places have ExpressVote systems to aid voters with disabilities. Voters can use it to listen to choices on the ballot or magnify the font size on ballots. Voters should alert poll workers if they need any assistance with voting.

More information about candidates

Key races:

  • U.S. President
  • U.S. Senate: two seats
  • U.S. House: three seats
  • State Legislature: 25 seats

Editor’s note: This guide was updated on Jan. 31, 2024, with new information about upcoming 2024 elections.

Michelle Tuccitto Sullo is a contributing writer covering state and federal policy. She previously served as managing editor of the Hartford Business Journal in Connecticut and has worked for the New Haven Register, Connecticut Law Tribune and New Haven Biz.

Also of Interest:

This story is provided by AARP Nebraska. Visit the AARP Nebraska page for more news, events, and programs affecting retirement, health care, and more.

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