By Chris Bowling
With only a few days left to election day on Tuesday, Nov. 3, many Douglas County residents have already made their voices heard through voting by mail.
As of Oct. 29, 153,398 county residents have cast their ballot early, according to data from the Douglas County Election Commission. That’s about 55,000 more people compared to 10 days ago. It’s also more than 40,000 votes than were cast in the primary, which shattered early voting records at the time.
In total, 162,325 people requested ballots in Nebraska’s most populated county, leaving less than 10,000 ballots to turn in before Nov. 2, the last day to vote early. To avoid possibly overloading the United States Postal Service with last-minute mailed ballots, and to make sure a vote is counted, residents can drop their vote off at one of Douglas County’s drop boxes.
While more people are casting their vote by mail, the disparities that emerged between East and West Omaha have only grown more pronounced.
Wards generally west of 72nd street are outvoting their eastern counterparts nearly two to one. In particular Wards 2 and 4, which generally represent North and South Omaha, respectively, have requested far fewer ballots than any other area. Locally and nationwide, many in minority communities, especially Latinos, have expressed a distrust of early voting, preferring instead to vote in person.