Nebraskans head to the polls

By

November 6th, 2012

Omaha, NE – Nebraskans head to the polls Tuesday to cast their ballots for President of the United States, U.S. Senate, U.S. House of Representatives and a number of other statewide and local offices.

In the presidential race, Nebraskans are predicted to cast their votes for Republican Gov. Mitt Romney. Romney held a comfortable, double-digit lead in statewide polls over President Obama. But in the state’s Second Congressional District, polls were tighter. The Omaha-based district sent one electoral vote to President Obama in 2008 in a historic split from the rest of the state. But enthusiasm for the President is predicted to be lower this year.

President Obama campaigned in Council Bluffs, Iowa in August, while Gov. Mitt Romney took the stage at Rick’s Cafe and Boatyard in Omaha in May. (Photos by Robyn Wisch)

In the race to replace retiring Nebraska Sen. Ben Nelson, Democrat Bob Kerrey faces Deb Fischer, a Republican state senator from Valentine, Neb. Kerrey planned to vote with his family at Luther Memorial Lutheran Church Tuesday morning. He will host a campaign party tonight at Embassy Suites in La Vista, Neb. Fischer planned to campaign in Omaha Tuesday morning. Fischer is scheduled to meet supporters at Wheatfields and Paradise Bakery in west Omaha and then wave signs with volunteers at 90th and Dodge Streets. Fischer will join Republican Congressmen Adrian Smith and Jeff Fortenberry for a campaign party at the Cornhusker Hotel in Lincoln tonight.

Nebraskans will choose between Democrat Bob Kerrey and Republican Deb Fischer in the race for U.S. Senate. (Photo courtesy NET News)

In the race to represent Nebraska’s Second Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives, incumbent Republican Lee Terry plans to watch the returns with supporters tonight at the German American Society in Omaha, while Democratic challenger John Ewing will join the Obama campaign’s Omaha office at campaign headquarters tonight at the Hilton Hotel in downtown Omaha.

Nebraskans will also decide four proposals to change the state’s constitution today, including extending term limits, raising senators’ pay, allowing impeachment for campaign offenses, and protecting hunting, fishing and trapping rights.

John Ewing, a Democrat, is challenging incumbent Republican Lee Terry in the race to represent Nebraska’s Second Congressional District. (Photos by Robyn Wisch)

Poll workers are hoping for a smooth election, after a number of poll closures caused confusion earlier this year in the Nebraska Primary. Douglas County Election Commissioner Dave Phipps closed a number of polling locations in what he said was a cost-saving measure. The poll closures were concentrated in the mainly minority neighborhoods of North and South Omaha, and after a public outcry, Phipps met with community leaders and re-opened some of the polls.

Phipps predicted turnout in Douglas County would be slightly lower this year than 2008. In a statement, Phipps said turnout would be around 68%. That’s down from 72.6% in 2008, and it’s also lower than what’s predicted statewide. Secretary of State John Gale predicted 71% of registered voters would turn out on Election Day. That matches 2008 turnout, which was a record.

Phipps and Gale both said more Nebraskans are participating in early voting this year. 85,000 early ballots are expected in Douglas County alone.

To find your polling location, click here.

KVNO News will be covering the election results tonight, as the numbers roll in. Special coverage begins when the polls close at 8 p.m. You can also follow online at KVNONEWS.COM and on Facebook and Twitter @KVNONews.

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