May 14, 2024

What to know before you vote in Nebraska’s first statewide election with Voter ID

Posted May 14, 2024 3:00 PM

Aaron Sanderford

Nebraska Examiner

LINCOLN — Nebraskans, check your wallets and purses for a picture ID before heading to the polls on Tuesday.

If you forget, you’ll need to request a provisional ballot at your polling site and follow up with your local election office by the close of business on May 21 to make it count. Or you’ll need to go back before the polls close and try again.

Tuesday is the first statewide election since Nebraska voters approved a requirement that IDs be checked before voting.

Early voting reminders

The 35% to 40% of Nebraskans that Nebraska Secretary of State Bob Evnen’s office expects to vote early in the primary election already know.

“Nebraska’s polling places will be fully staffed and prepared for voters on Election Day,” Evnen said. “County election offices are ready.”

Find your polling place

Check where you vote here, since some have changed:

Early voters had to write down a state ID or driver’s license number or use a copy of an approved ID to request a ballot by mail or vote early in person at their county election office.

Ballots requested by mail must be returned to local county election offices or an official county election drop box by the close of voting at 8 p.m. CT or 7 p.m. MT Tuesday.

People casting early voting ballots can make sure their ballots were counted by checking the Secretary of State’s website at

Voting in person

State and local election officials urge patience for the bulk of Nebraskans who still show up to vote in person on Election Day.

Lines could be longer and a little slower at morning and evening rush hours, as poll workers learn to check IDs and as people who came to vote without them adjust.

Voters can use Nebraska driver’s licenses, state IDs, military IDs, college IDs, nursing home or hospital records, tribal IDs, political subdivision IDs or U.S. passports.

Douglas County has added an extra staffer as a greeter at every local polling place this spring whose job is to communicate with people in line and make sure they have the proper ID.

Election rights advocates and both major political parties will be watching how the changes are implemented. Voting advocacy group Civic Nebraska urged Nebraskans who face any problems to call the group’s Voter Help Line at 402-890-5291.

People with questions can also call their county election office at one of the numbers listed here: Or they can call the Secretary of State’s Office at 402-471-2555.

Few complaints so far

Few complaints have been relayed so far. Douglas County Election Commissioner Brian Kruse, who has the largest number of people voting early, about 50% of his expected primary tally, said he had not had one person request to talk to a supervisor to complain.

“We have had over 1,500 people vote (early) in person,” Kruse said. “We’ve had one of the new provisionals where someone forgot their ID. They’ve come back and cured it.”

Steve Smith of Civic Nebraska said his organization has heard about a dozen questions about when and where voters need to write down their state ID number while early voting. Truth is, county election officials check ID info when people request early voting ballots, so they don’t have to write it on the ballot-returning envelope.

People who live in counties and precincts that vote exclusively by mail — 11 whole counties and in parts of 19 others —  will need to write their state ID number on the return envelope.

More on how voter ID works

Get more information from state election officials on how voter ID works in Nebraska here:

The state will start posting unofficial election results online starting at 8 p.m. Central or 7 p.m. Mountain at

The Secretary of State’s Office updates results every five minutes until county election officials call it a night. Nebraska’s counties often finish counting a few days after Election Day, although most results can be determined by the close of business Friday.