How to Vote in the 2021 Omaha Mayoral and City Council Elections

Posted on 04/09/21 by Andrew Soergel

Nearly half of Omaha’s 370,000 registered voters will receive an early voting ballot application by mail for the upcoming mayoral and city council elections. That will allow them to cast a ballot safely from home and avoid long Election Day lines amid the pandemic: 

  • All registered voters can request an early voting ballot by mail. Early voting applications are due by April 30; completed ballots must be submitted by 8 p.m. on Election Day. 
  • The general election is May 11. Polls will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Use the “Find Your Voting Information” tool on the Douglas County Election Commission website to learn where you can cast a ballot in person. 
  • Omaha’s city election is nonpartisan. Candidates’ party affiliation is not printed on ballots. 
Election 2020 Early Voting

Here’s what else you need to know: 

How do I register to vote? 

You can register by mail or in person. Complete a Nebraska voter registration application, which can be downloaded from the Douglas County Election Commission website. First-time voters will need to mail the completed application , along with a copy of a valid form of identification, like a driver’s license or a bank statement, to the county election commission. You only need to provide ID while registering if you do so by mail. Your registration must be postmarked by April 23. 

You can also register to vote in person at the county election commission, at a Department of Motor Vehicles location, a public library or at the Department of Health or Department of Education. You’ll need to do so by April 30 to vote on Election Day. 

How can I get an early voting ballot? Can I vote early in person? 

You can vote early by mail or in person. Registered voters can request an early voting ballot be mailed to them by completing an application and leaving it in an official election drop box, mailing it the Douglas County Election Commission or emailing it to earlyvoting@votedouglascounty.com.  

Early voting ballots will be mailed to voters starting April 26. The deadline to request one is April 30. Election officials must receive your completed early voting ballot — or you must leave it in an official drop box — by 8 p.m. on Election Day, May 11. 

You can also vote early and in person at the Douglas County Election Commission from April 26 through May 10. 

When is Election Day? When are polls open? 

Election Day is Tuesday, May 11. Polls will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.  Use the “Find Your Voting Information” tool on the Douglas County Election Commission’s website to find your polling place. 

What form of identification do I need to vote? 

You’ll only need to present ID if you’re a first-time voter who is registering by mail. In that case, you’ll need to submit a copy of a current driver’s license, utility bill, bank statement or paycheck that confirms your name and address. A list of acceptable forms of ID is on the Douglas County Election Commission’s website. But you don’t need ID to vote by mail or in person.   

What is being done to make polling places safe from COVID-19? 

The Douglas County Election Commission has been promoting early voting. It sent early voting application postcards to all registered voters two times last year, asking if they’d like to receive early voting ballots in the mail going forward. The list of people in the county’s early voting registry grew from 40,000 in Jan. 2020 to 178,000 in Jan. 2021. 

Masks and hand sanitizer are also available at the entrance of the Douglas County Election Commission’s office. 

What races are on the ballot? 

Omaha runs a nonpartisan primary, so candidates’ party affiliation will not be printed on the ballot. The top two performers in the primary election will appear on the ballot for the general election in May. The election results are still being finalized. 

This story was published on March 5 and updated April 9 with more information about the general election.

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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