CUSTER COUNTY—Polls open at 8 a.m. tomorrow (May 15) for the 2018 Primary Election. Local races include the County Supervisor race and Callaway and Arnold Hospital Districts. Six candidates are currently vying for the District #7 spot on the Board of Supervisors. One Republican and one Democrat will advance to the general election in November. (District #7 includes Berwyn, Ansley, Westerville, Myrtle, Algernon, and Elk Creek.) The City of Sargent and Broken Bow candidates, airport authority, and school board candidates will automatically advance to the general election. (Click here to view the March 7 candidate filings story.)
State races include U.S. Senator, Congressional District No. 3, Governor, Secretary of State, State Treasurer, Attorney General, and Auditor of Public Accounts.
Polls close at 8 p.m. and you can check the status of your voter registration and location of your polling place by contacting your county election office (308-872-5701) or logging onto https://www.votercheck.necvr.ne.gov/. If you voted early by mail, or have to complete a provisional ballot on Election Day, you can go to that same website to track the status of your ballot.
Secretary of State John A. Gale expects voter turnout will reach 28 percent in the May 15 primary. That would be on par with the official turnout from the 2014 primary election. But, he adds, the potential is there for a much stronger turnout, if Nebraskans head to the polls on Election Day.
“Participation is key to the success of any election,” Gale noted. “I hope Nebraskans take the time to vote since many federal, state and local races need our input.”
There are 1,199,660 Nebraskans registered for the primary. That is 47,516 more people than were registered for the primary in 2014. In Custer County there are 7,873 registered voters.
The office of Secretary of State (http://www.sos.ne.gov)has provided the following Election Day tips:
Check your voter registration and polling place. You can check the status of your voter registration and location of your polling place by contacting your county election office or logging onto https://www.votercheck.necvr.ne.gov/. If you voted early by mail, or have to complete a provisional ballot on Election Day, you can go to that same website to track the status of your ballot.
Change of address. If you have moved within your county, but have not updated your voter registration, you can still vote. However, you will need to go to your new precinct, in order to obtain a provisional ballot. To identify the polling place for your current address, go to https://www.votercheck.necvr.ne.gov/.
Be prepared. Before going to the polls, make an effort to become aware about the candidates and issues on the ballot. Sample ballots are printed in newspapers and posted on county websites. Mark and take the sample ballot with you to the polling place.
Conduct at the polls. To maintain proper decorum at the polls, it is requested that you turn off your smart phones and other electronic devices. Phone conversations or loud bell tones can be distracting to others. Ballot selfies are allowed in polling places, however, photos should only be taken of your own ballot and not someone else’s. The privacy of other voters should be respected.
Campaigning prohibited. Campaign items such as buttons, stickers and T-shirts are not allowed in a polling place. It is illegal to campaign within 200 feet of a polling site. Campaign signs can be installed on private property within 200 feet of a polling site, provided that the property does not include where the polling place is located.
Voter identification. If you recently registered to vote by mail and did not include identification with your application, you may be asked to provide identification at your polling place. Be sure that it includes your current residence information. Identification at the polling place is not required of other voters.
Early voting ballots. Up until May 14, the day prior to the election, you can vote early, in person at your county election office. Early ballots sent by mail must be received at the county election office by the close of polls on Election Day. If you have a completed early voting ballot, be sure to turn it in at the county election office prior to the close of polls. In some counties, drop boxes are available as well. Early voting ballots cannot be accepted at a polling site on Election Day.
Provisional ballots. If you happen to lose a ballot, spoil it or have not received your early ballot by Election Day, you can still vote with a provisional ballot at your polling place. That ballot will be counted once it is confirmed that no other ballots have been cast for you.
Special accommodations and assistance. If you require special assistance to vote at your polling site, let a poll worker know. Curbside help is available for those who have difficulty walking or utilize assistive devices. Ballot marking devices are available for use with specially designed ballot machines. Those features can also help those with hearing or vision difficulties. Be sure to let a poll worker know what accommodations you might need.
Unofficial election results for statewide races will be posted starting at 8 p.m. CDT (7 p.m. MDT) on the main page of the Secretary of State’s website http://www.sos.ne.gov.
Voters who spot irregular or inappropriate behavior at their polling place, are encouraged to call the Secretary of State’s office on Election Day. Sec. John Gale says staff members will be standing by on May 15, ready to handle any complaints.
“Previously, the purpose was to field complaints specifically about election fraud or voting irregularities,” said Gale. “But over the years, we have taken calls on a variety of situations which voters thought were important and might warrant additional investigation.”
Anyone wishing to report a problem can call toll free 888-727-0007 or 402-471-2555.
Complaints are handled confidentially. If a complaint is deemed to be credible and warranting further investigation, it will be forwarded to the proper local, state or federal law enforcement agency.
Local Polling Places: You can check the location of your polling place by contacting your county election office or logging onto https://www.votercheck.necvr.ne.gov/
Mason City Community Building (Algernon/Elk Creek)
Arnold Legion Hall (Arnold Village/Arnold Rural/Hayes II)
Oconto Community Hall (Woodriver)
Broken Bow Municipal Building (Broken Bow, North/South/Northwest/Southwest)
Merna Community Building (Kilfoil/Cliff)
Sargent Community Building (Sargent City/Sargent Rural/West Union/Corner)
Callaway Senior Center (Delight & Custer/Elim/Triumph/Grant/Wayne)
Broken Bow Veterans Building (BB North Rural/Garfield/Lillian/Milburn/East Custer, BB South Rural/Berwyn/Ryno/Loup)
Winter Memorial Library (Victoria/Hayes I)
Ansley Municipal Auditorium (Ansley/Westerville/Myrtle)
Comstock Community Hall (Comstock/Douglas Grove/Spring Creek)