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What are my rights to vote, if I have a felony conviction in Nebraska?
Felon Voting Rights FAQ
- If you are convicted of a state or federal felony, you temporarily lose your citizenship rights including your right to vote.
- Your voting rights are restored two full years after completing all of the terms of your sentence whether it includes incarceration without parole, incarceration with parole, probation or any combination of sentences.
What happens to my voter registration record if I am convicted of a felony?
- The Clerk of the District Court will notify the county election official, who will make a notation in your voter registration record that you are not eligible to vote.
- You will then receive a notice from the county election official that you have been removed from the voter list.
- If the notation was made in error, you should notify the county election official right away.
What if I was convicted of a felony in another state?
- Voting eligibility is based on Nebraska state law; it does not matter in what state you were convicted of a felony or whether you were convicted in municipal, state or federal court.
Are there any felony convictions which bar me from automatically regaining my voting rights after the two year period?
- Yes. If you have been convicted of treason under Nebraska law or the laws of the United States you must apply for a restoration of your civil rights before you can register or vote.
What if a felon attempts to register to vote in Nebraska?
- When you sign the voter application you attest to the fact that you are not a felon and it has been two years since completing your sentence, including any parole term.
- Knowingly submitting false information on the application is a Class IV felony in Nebraska, punishable up to five years imprisonment, a fine of up to $10,000 or both.
Do I have the right to vote if I am on bond and the criminal case is pending?
- You can still register and vote if you have not yet been convicted. That‘s true even if you are currently incarcerated and awaiting trial.
- If you are currently incarcerated pending disposition, you are presumed innocent until convicted. If you have not previously registered to vote, you will need to complete and submit a voter registration application.
- If you are incarcerated and need to vote by absentee ballot, complete and return the necessary request form. Include your previous permanent address on the form, the address where you lived prior to incarceration.
What if I have been convicted of a misdemeanor?
- Your voting rights are not affected. You are eligible to register and vote in all state and federal elections. That includes if you are currently serving a sentence for a misdemeanor in jail.
- If you wish to register and vote while in jail, you will need to complete and submit a voter registration application, and also complete a form to receive an absentee ballot.
How are my voting rights restored?
- Voting rights are restored two years after the completion of your incarceration plus any period of parole or probation. You should receive a notice from the Department of Corrections, parole administrator or the judge that you have successfully completed your sentence.
- At that time, you will need to submit a new voter registration application to the county election office where you intend to reside.
What if I need to confirm if my voting rights are restored?
- Contact the Clerk of the District Court where the sentence was imposed, the Department of Corrections, or the supervising parole officer to confirm if your two year sentence has passed, enabling you to register and vote.
- It is best not to submit a registration form until you have confirmed your status.
How do I register to vote?
Qualifications - You must meet the following basic qualifications to register to vote.
- To register to vote you must be 18 years old. If you are 17 years old and will be 18 by the first Tuesday following the first Monday in November of this year, you can register.
- You must be a United States citizen in order to register to vote.
- If you have been convicted of a felony, either in Nebraska or another state or in federal court, you cannot register to vote until two years after the completion of your sentence including any probation or parole term.
Mentally Incompetent (Non compos mentis)
- If you have been found by a court to be mentally incompetent, you cannot register to vote.
- To register, you must be resident of Nebraska and of the county where you are registering. If you move to another county, you must re-register.
Methods to Register to Vote
- If you have a Nebraska driver’s license or identification card issued by the Department of Motor Vehicles, you may be able to use the state online voter registration NEReg2Vote. The registration uses the signature from your driver’s license or identification card and is automatically sent to you county election official for processing.
- Paper registration forms are available at a variety of locations including the Secretary of State’s office and local/county election offices. They may also be available at libraries, banks or other locations. Contact your county election official for these locations within your county.
- Copies of the voter registration application are available on this website in both a blank form (print and then fill out) and a fillable form (fill out and then print). The paper form must be signed and delivered or mailed to your county election office.
Department of Motor Vehicles
- When you apply for a driver’s license or identification card or renew or update you information at Nebraska Department of Motor Vehicles offices, you will be offered the opportunity to register to vote.
Public Assistance Agencies
- When you apply for or have other transactions with Nebraska public assistance agencies, you will be offered the opportunity to register to vote.
For more information about registering to vote in Nebraska, check out the General Voter Information page.