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How to Register, Vote and Track Your Ballot in Nebraska

En español | Nebraska is a no-excuse state, meaning any voter can request an absentee ballot without a reason. In November 2022, Nebraskans passed a constitutional amendment requiring voters to show photo ID, but lawmakers have yet to implement the new requirement.

The next statewide elections are in 2024, with some local elections in 2023.

Essential info:

  • Absentee voting: Any registered voter can request an early-voting (absentee) ballot, no reason or excuse required.
  • Early in-person voting: This option starts 30 days before a primary or general election and ends the day before Election Day.
  • Voting at the polls: Nebraska require voters to show a photo ID to cast a ballot.
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Have there been any recent changes to voting in Nebraska?

Nebraska voters in November 2022 approved a constitutional amendment requiring all voters to show a photo ID when voting. State lawmakers passed legislation to implement the change effective June 1, 2023.

A redistricting plan changed certain boundaries of some state legislative and U.S. congressional districts and may affect which candidates appear on your ballot. 

How do I register to vote?

  • Online: If you have a current, unexpired driver’s license or a state ID card issued by Nebraska, use the state’s online voter registration portal. Register online no later than the third Friday before Election Day.
  • By mail: Print out the voter registration application from the secretary of state’s website or pick one up at any Department of Motor Vehicles office or at most libraries, post offices and state public assistance offices. Mail the completed application to your county election office. First-class postage is required. 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, bank statement or government document showing your name and address. A full list of acceptable forms of ID is in the secretary of state's voter registration guide. Applications must be postmarked no later than the third Friday before the election.
  • In person: Visit your county election office no later than 6 p.m. on the second Friday before the election, or register when renewing or applying for a driver’s license at the DMV. Nebraska’s Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Education also let you register when filing new applications, renewals, recertifications and changes of address.

You can check and update your registration information by visiting Nebraska's voter information center.

Does my party affiliation matter when I vote in the primaries?

Yes, in partisan elections. When voting in a partisan primary, those affiliated with a political party can only vote using their party’s ballot. However, political parties can decide before each election whether to open their primaries to nonpartisan (unaffiliated) voters. 

How can I get an early-voting (absentee) ballot? Are there important deadlines?

Any registered Nebraska voter can request a mail-in or absentee ballot; no reason is required.

The early-voting ballot application can be downloaded online, picked up at your county election office or requested through the office by mail, fax, email or phone.

You can mail, email, fax or drop off your early-voting ballot application to your county election office. It must be received by 6 p.m. on the second Friday before the election. More information about the early-voting ballot process is on the secretary of state’s website.

To cast your completed absentee or early-voting ballot, it must be returned to your county election office by the close of polls on Election Day. You or anyone acting on your behalf as an “agent” can mail the ballot, bring it into your county election office or place it in a secure drop box at your county election office or another location, if applicable. Drop boxes should be available 24/7 up until the close of the polls on election night, but check with your county election office to confirm availability. Use the Nebraska Drop Box Locator to find a drop box near you.

Can I track my early-voting (absentee) ballot?

Yes. Nebraska maintains an online voter portal that allows voters to track their absentee ballots.

Can I vote in person before Election Day?

Yes, 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.

What do I need to know about 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. You must vote at your designated polling place, which can be found via the state's online voter information center or by contacting your county election office.

If you live in a county that does all-mail voting, meaning there are no polling places, you should be able to cast a ballot in person at your county election office.

Do I need identification to vote?

As of June 1, 2023, Nebraska voters are required to show a photo ID when casting ballots. A variety of IDs will be accepted including driver's licenses, military and tribal IDs, Nebraska college IDs and nursing home documents containing a photo. Check the secretary of state’s website for more information when it becomes available.

Editor’s note: This guide was updated on June 8, 2023 with information about a new voter ID law. The guide was first published on Aug. 3, 2020.

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