Early Voting Numbers Could Have Huge Election Night Impact
CREATED May. 9, 2013
Omaha, NE - Early voting has become an election night game changer.
"Hi would you like to vote? Yes I would."
"It's sort of a good reliable vote if you can get them to request a ballot, you can get them to return their ballot."
More people in Omaha are requesting early voting ballots than ever before. Those numbers could tighten the gap in the hot foot race for mayor.
The Douglas County Election Commission mailed out 18,500 early voting ballots and almost 2,000 voters have walked in, to pencil in so far.
Compare that to the race in 2009. 15,000 early voters, total. Election Commissioner Dave Phipps says this is changing campaign strategies.
"A lot of that is driven by campaigns. I think they're seeing early voting as a way to make sure that their voters that they've identified get a ballot and if they get a ballot they're pretty assured their ballot is gonna get returned."
Phipps says that could have a huge impact come election night. He says about 53% of early ballot requests came from Democrats, 37% from Republicans and the rest from Independents.
"I mean there are issues that need to be addressed in the city that continue to not be addressed."
Early voters like Eric Hodges and Jasmine Plascencia say they want their ballot in now, because this election is important for Omaha.
"Roads to taxes to the way we spend and what we're investing in because the taxpayers are investing in those kinds of issues and we need to make sure our government understands where we stand."
"I want to have my opinion in there so that it's heard, and mine will make a difference."