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For immediate release: Contact: Ben Kiser
October 23, 2002 402-471-8675

Election Reminder: New Absentee Ballot Deadlines for General Election and Voter Registration Deadline is Friday

Lincoln - Nebraska Secretary of State John Gale today issued a reminder to voters regarding changes in the absentee voting laws for the November 5 general election. The deadlines to request and return absentee ballots have been moved up. Voter registration ends on Friday, as well.

"More voters are taking the opportunity to vote early by absentee. In the 2000 general election, over 11% voted by absentee ballot, amounting to some 80,000 voters," said Secretary Gale. "It is extremely important that voters choosing to use the absentee process are familiar with the changes in election law."

The deadline to request an absentee ballot to be mailed is 4 p.m. on Wednesday, October 30 for the general election. Absentee ballots must be returned either by mail or in person to the county clerk or election commissioner’s office by the close of polls on Election Day. Previously, the absentee ballot request deadline was 4 p.m. on the Friday before the election and those returned by mail must have been received in the election office by 10 a.m. on the Thursday after the election. These changes were recommended by the Election Reform Task Force and were included in LB 935 passed by the Nebraska Legislature earlier this year.

In addition, Friday, October 25 is the last day for eligible voters to register in person at their country clerk or election commissioner’s office. The deadline is 6 p.m. on Friday to register for the general election. Voters can still cast a ballot in person at their county clerk or election commissioner’s office through Monday, November 4.

"I hope Nebraskans who are not registered to vote will do so before the deadline on Friday and make every effort to go to the polls on Election Day or vote absentee," said Secretary Gale. "Any voter with questions about voting can contact my office for additional information at 402-471-2555."

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