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Voting - The Bedrock of Democracy

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March 27, 2022

The bedrock of democratic institutions needs constant vigilance, scrupulous security and widespread participation. Voting, one of the most precious and fundamental rights in America, has paradoxically become more complex and simplified over the past few decades.

The proliferation of mail-in ballots, early voting, drop-off locations and designation of agents continue to simplify and make the voting process more accessible. The more people participating in self-government and democratic procedures, the better.

But we also think people need to have skin in the game. A genuine effort should be made on the part of the people to exercise their voting rights. Not burdensome, manipulative obstacles, but pure engagement. They should have to request a mail-in ballot. They should have to go to a neutral polling place to add their voice to the voting rolls. They should be an informed citizenry.

Recent trends indicate a push for stricter voter ID requirements. Thirty-six states have enacted some form of voter ID requirement. Nebraska isn’t on that list.

The complexity of voting machines, and the shroud of mystery surrounding them, have consistently caused a stir. Both sides of the political spectrum have railed about possible fraud, interference and inconsistencies in recent elections and with the voting process as a whole.

Our own Chief Investigative Reporter, Joe Herring, produced an extensive analysis on the viability of Nebraska’s elections and process, including ballot-counting machines. Through in-depth interviews and exhaustive investigation, he found no evidence of widespread fraud.

As we near another election, we find it timely to remind Americans of our civic duty and sacred right of voting. We express the opinion that the entire process needs to be tightened up. Voting rolls need to be up-to-date and accurate. Mail ballots need to be legitimately requested and completed without coercion and ballot-stuffing mechanics. Voting machines need to be honestly scrutinized. Timelines, laws and procedures need to be followed prodigiously.  

The earliest mail ballots will be sent out for the May 10th primary is April 4th. In Lancaster and Douglas Counties they maintain lists of people who request mail-in ballots for every election. They call it the Early Voting Request List in Douglas County and the Permanent Absentee List in Lancaster County. Postcards were mailed out to people on the list two to three months prior to the election. People need to sign and return it to verify their preference of receiving a mail-in ballot, which they will receive after April 4th.

People not on these designated lists can still request mail-in ballots by contacting the Election Commission office or printing the early voting ballot application, completing and mailing it in prior to set deadlines.

People can act as agents on behalf of registered voters. Per the Statewide Primary Election Early Voting Ballot Application, “A person may assist up to two voters by acting as their agent. The agent can complete and submit the early voting ballot application on behalf of the voter. A candidate or a member of a candidate campaign committee can only be an agent for his/her own family.”

Election Commission offices also utilize in-person early voting at their offices 30 days prior to a statewide election. And of course, the time-honored activity of voting on election day at designated polling places remains an option.

Voting is a right, not an entitlement. We urge all citizens to engage in the process. Stand up and have your voices heard. -30-

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