How to Vote in Nebraska’s 2024 Elections

Posted on 05/15/24 by Michelle Tuccitto Sullo

En español

Important dates and election information

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Last day to request an early voting (absentee) ballot: Friday, Oct. 25
Deadline to return an early voting (absentee) ballot: Tuesday, Nov. 5 (received)
Last day of early in-person voting: Monday, Nov. 4
Election Day: Tuesday, Nov. 5

Voting at a glance

  • Voter registration: The deadline to register to vote is Friday, Oct. 18, if registering online or by mail, or Friday, Oct. 25, if you register in person. Visit the Nebraska Voter Information Lookup portal to check your status.
  • Absentee voting: Any registered voter can request a by-mail early voting (absentee) ballot, no reason or excuse required. 
  • Early in-person voting: Monday, Oct. 7, is the first day of early in-person voting and it continues through Monday, Nov. 4.
  • Voting at the polls: Polls are open on Election Day from 8 a.m. CT, 7 a.m. MT through 8 p.m. CT, 7 p.m. MT. Voters must show an acceptable photo ID to cast a ballot. 

Recent voting changes in Nebraska

Under a 2023 law, voters must show an acceptable photo ID when voting, effective May 2024.

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

Lawmakers in 2024 eliminated a restriction on convicted felons that prohibited them from voting for two years after completing their sentence, probation or parole. Instead, as of July 19, 2024, voting rights are restored immediately after completion.

How to register to vote

The deadline to register to vote online or at the Nebraska Department of Motor Vehicles, the Nebraska Department of Education and the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services is Friday, Oct. 18. Mailed voter registration forms must be postmarked no later than Friday, Oct. 18. The last day for in-person voter registration is Friday, Oct. 25.

  • Online: Register online using the state’s voter registration portal. Have your driver’s license or state identification card available before you begin the application. 
  • By mail: Fill out and print the voter registration application from the secretary of state’s website. Provide your driver's license or state ID number, or last four digits of your Social Security number. Mail the completed application to your county election office listed at the bottom of the form.  
  • In person: Visit your county election office or register when renewing or applying for a driver’s license at the DMV. You can also register when filing applications or changes of address at the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Education.

Registering to vote on Election Day

Nebraska does not permit registration on Election Day.

Check your voter registration status

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

APTOPIX Election 2022 Nebraska Primary
A woman votes at Werner Park in Papillion, Nebraska.
Chris Machian/Omaha World-Herald via AP

How to request an early voting (absentee) ballot

Nebraska is a no-excuse state, meaning any voter can request an early voting ballot without a reason. You can request a ballot 120 days in advance of the election, or starting Monday, July 8, for the Tuesday, Nov. 5, general election. The deadline to submit your early voting ballot application is Friday, Oct. 25.

Get an early voting ballot:

  • Online: Obtain an online early voting application, available on the secretary of state’s website. After completing the form, mail, fax or scan/take a picture of your application and email it to your county election office. 
  • By mail or fax: Apply for an early voting 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 state ID number or attaching a copy of an acceptable form of photo ID, and providing the address where the ballot should be sent, before submitting it to the county election office.  

Write your Nebraska driver’s license or state ID number on your ballot application or enclose a copy 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.

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

Returning an early voting (absentee) ballot

To cast your completed early voting ballot, you must return it 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 ballots.

Voting in person before Election Day

You can vote in person at your county election office from Monday, Oct. 7, to Monday, Nov. 4. 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. To find your polling place, visit the Nebraska Voter Information Lookup portal or contact your county election office.

Some counties do all-mail voting, and there are no polling places. Voters in these counties will automatically receive 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.

Most sample ballots will be available on the secretary of state’s website or on the voter information portal. Not all counties upload sample ballots with the state. If it doesn't appear, check with your county election official.

Voter ID requirements on Election Day

Starting with the May 2024 primary election, 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 Department of Motor Vehicles. Find a full list of acceptable IDs on the Nebraska secretary of state’s website.

If you forget 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 an additional form. 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 them. 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.

Voting from a nursing home or long-term care facility

If you are unable to vote in person, you may have a by-mail early voting ballot sent to your assisted living residence or long-term care facility. You can have a designee, such as a relative or friend, apply for your ballot on your behalf, deliver it to you and help you fill it out.

Editor’s note: This guide was originally published Jan. 31, 2024, and has been updated with new information about the 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.

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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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