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Recent rulings that Texas' voting laws discriminate put pressure on the state, but the road ahead is long
04/24/17 |
Publication Date: 
Monday, April 24, 2017 - 01:00

Lawmakers are trying to pass a bill to address the discriminatory issues found with the voter ID law. But Democrats say it falls short of meeting the standards that a district court set last year.

Plaintiffs want District Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos of Corpus Christi to consider throwing out the law after the legislative session and returning the state to the federal government's "pre-clearance" list.

But even if that happened, the Texas attorney general's office would almost certainly challenge the decision in the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. ...

The parties in the [redistricting] case are set to meet in San Antonio on Thursday. The three-judge panel will hear updates on whether a trial is needed and what a timeline for the rest of the case might look like.

But the panel has moved slowly and methodically throughout the case for over six years. It is unlikely to grant the plaintiffs' requests — for new congressional maps for the 2018 elections and federal oversight — before tackling other remaining issues, such as whether the 2013 interim maps were also discriminatory.

And even if the court sided with the plaintiffs in a trial and struck down the maps, Texas could appeal the decision to the U.S. Supreme Court — dragging out the case even longer.

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Nebraska Election Info

Upcoming Elections in Your State

2016 General Election: November 8, 2016

Voter Registration Deadline: October 28, 2016 (in person); October 21, 2016 (online or by mail)

For more information, visit

Election Day:

Polls are open from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. (Central Time Zone) and 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. (Mountain Time Zone).

Any registered voter may participate in early voting by making a written request to his or her local election office by October 28.

How to Find Your Polling Place: Visit the Nebraska Secretary of State’s Polling Place website at


Already registered? Verify your voter registration status.

Registration Deadlines:

The deadline to register to vote online is 5:00 p.m. Central Time the third Friday before an election, which is October 21 for the 2016 General Election.  The deadline to register to vote by mail is on or before the third Friday prior to an election, which is October 21 for the 2016 General Election.  The deadline to register to vote in person is before 6:00 p.m. Central Time on the second Friday prior to an election, which is October 28 for the 2016 General Election. 

How to Check Your Registration: Visit or call 866-OUR-VOTE.

Registration Eligibility: In order to be eligible to register in Nebraska, you must:

  • Be a United States Citizen;
  • Live in Nebraska;
  • Be at least 18 years of age on or before November 8;
  • Have not been convicted of a felony, or at least 2 years have passed since you completed your felony sentence including any parole time; and
  • Have not been found mentally incompetent by a court.

There is no duration of residence requirement in Nebraska; you may register to vote the first day you move to the state.

How to Register: Eligible voters may register online, by mail, or in person.


In order to register online, you must have a Nebraska driver’s license or state-issued identification card.  Applicants can apply to register at

By Mail

In order to register by mail, you must obtain a mail-in registration form by:

In Person

You may register to vote in person in any of the following ways:

  • Completing an application with your local election office;
  • When applying for or renewing your driver’s license or State Identification Card; or
  • Completing an application with another State Office such as the Department of Health and Human Services or the Department of Education.

Identification Required for Registration:  Nebraska does not require identification unless a voter is registering to vote for the first time by mail.  If registering to vote for the first time in Nebraska by mail, you must provide a copy of a current and valid photo ID or a copy of a utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck, or other government document dated within 60 days prior to the date of presentation showing the same name and residence as provided on the voter registration application.

If You Want to Vote Early

Any registered voter may request an early ballot from his or her local election office.  Visit to find the appropriate election office. 


Applications must be written and must include the voter’s home address, address where the ballot should be sent, telephone number if applicable, and signature.  The voter may use the form provided on the Nebraska Secretary of State’s website ( Requests can be made in person or sent by mail, fax, or email. 

Application Deadline

A mailed application must be sent no later than the third Friday prior to Election Day, which is October 21 for the 2016 General Election. The local election office must receive the application no later than the close of business on the second Friday prior to Election Day, which is October 28 for the 2016 General Election.

Completed Ballot

The voter may mail or deliver the completed ballot to his or her local election office.  The completed ballot must be received before the polls close (8:00 p.m. CT/7:00 p.m. MT) on Election Day to be counted. 

If You Want to Vote Absentee

Nebraska no longer has absentee voting.  All voters are permitted to participate in early voting.

Identification Requirements to Cast a Ballot

Voters do not need to present identification in order to cast a ballot unless the voter is a first-time voter who did not provide identification with his or her mailed registration. 

Acceptable forms of identification for first-time voters include current photo identification or any of the following dated within 60 days before registration:

  • Utility bill;
  • Bank statement;
  • Government check;
  • Paycheck; or
  • Government document. 

Without one of these forms of identification, a voter is only permitted to vote a provisional ballot.

VoteRiders has created Nebraska voter ID info cards in English and in Spanish.

Moving within the Same County

A voter should update his or her voter registration with any change of address.  If the voter has not updated his or her address and has moved to a different address in the same county, he or she may be asked to cast a provisional ballot at the polling place associated with the new address. The provisional ballot will be counted if the county clerk can verify the information contained in the voter certification.

Moving Between Counties

A registered voter who has moved to a different county must re-register to vote in the new county.  If a voter who has relocated to another county has not re-registered to vote, that voter will not be permitted to vote in the election.

Military and other overseas citizens may use the standard procedure for early voting by mail, but there are also special provisions for members of the U.S. Armed Forces and Merchant Marine, commissioned corps of the Public Health Service and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, along with family members of all these groups, and other citizens who reside outside the United States.  These individuals are known as UOCAVA voters.

Registering and Requesting an Absentee Ballot

UOCAVA voters can use the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) to register to vote and to request an early ballot at the same time.  The deadline to register by mail is October 21, 2016 at 6:00 p.m. The deadline to register by email or fax is October 28 at 6:00 p.m. The deadline for requesting a ballot is November 2, 2016, at 4:00 p.m. Visit the Federal Voting Assistance Program’s (FVAP) Nebraska page at for more information.  The FPCA form is available at      

If you have questions, you can contact the Secretary of State’s Office at (888) 727-0007 or at  You can also contact the FVAP at 1-800-438-VOTE or

Receiving an Absentee Ballot

UOCAVA voters may receive their blank absentee ballots by mail, email, or fax.  To request a blank ballot by email or fax, UOCAVA voters must mark the appropriate box on the FPCA and provide an email address or fax number in Box 5.  The local election office will honor the voter’s preference.  Ballots must be returned by mail or delivery to the voter’s local election office before the polls close on Election Day, November 8, 2016.

Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot

The Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot (FWAB) is a back-up ballot that can be used by all UOCAVA voters.  UOCAVA voters use the FWAB to write in their votes when they have not received their early voting ballot in time.  If a UOCAVA voter is not registered, the local election office will treat the information submitted in the FWAB transmission envelope as the voter’s registration application.  The FWAB form is available at  FWABs must be returned by mail or delivery to the voter’s local election office before the polls close on Election Day, November 8, 2016.

A citizen who has been convicted of a felony cannot vote until 2 years after completing the felony sentence, including any parole.  The voter disqualification will be removed automatically once the sentence is complete.


Top Issues to Field

For more information for voters with disabilities, find a National Disability Rights Network partner in your area.

For more information for student voters, visit the Student Voting Guide from the Brennan Center for Justice.

Information provided by Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights

Voting as a Student

As a student, you have a constitutional right to register and vote in the place you truly consider to be “home” — whether that’s your parents’ house, your apartment, or your dorm room. But before you make the important decision about where to vote, make sure you know the voting rules (and sometimes consequences) of registering to vote in that state.

More Info On Student Voting

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Election Information for your state