D.O.J. Investigators Will Monitor Tuesday Primary & Election Commissioner
Election commissioner says there's a record number of early voters.
Omaha, NE -- Action 3 News has learned investigators with the Voting Rights Division from the U.S. Department of Justice are in Omaha. They'll closely watch for major problems during Tuesday's primary election. Video by kmtv.comvideo
Omaha, NE -- Action 3 News has learned investigators with the Voting Rights Division from the U.S. Department of Justice are in Omaha. They'll closely watch for major problems during Tuesday's primary election.
They came to Omaha after U.S. Senator Ben Nelson, several Nebraska State Senators, U.S. Attorney for Nebraska Deborah Gilg and City Council Members requested a formal investigation into Douglas County Election Commissioner Dave Phipps and his decision to close half the polling sites during a Presidential Election year without any citizen input. Many believe it's a way to undermine voting in areas most likely to re-elect the President.
Areas like North Omaha's District 2. There, 2,000 voters received wrong information on their voter cards. In the course of our investigation we showed the Election Commissioner knew the cards were wrong, but he sent them anyway. Their cards told them to vote at Christ Child Center. Dave Phipps agreed to close Christ Child, but keep Evans Tower as a polling site. The swap happened after a meeting with concerned City Councilman Ben Gray. He who feared the move would affect too many senior citizens. Phipps promised to send out letters to those 2,000 voters telling them to go to Evans Tower. Mr. Phipps also said he'd put a sign up at Christ Child and have a worker there on Election Day, just in case any voter is still confused. Monday, Action 3 News didn't see any signs posted to direct voters to Evans Tower.
All of the mistakes at the election commissioners office forced him to mail out early voting requests. Dave Phipps explained, "Normally for a primary election we expect between 5 and 7-thousand early votes, but because of those requests obviously a lot more people are requesting a ballot early. So you know 15,000 is about triple for what we expect so yeah, early voting has been really big."
Phipps predicts a 21% voter turnout Tuesday. A reminder - if you have an early ballot you can not vote at your polling site. You have to drop it off at the Douglas County Election Commissioners Office or one of the four drop sites across the county. Those, too, in place because of the confusion caused by closing so many polling sites.
If you have any problems voting on Tuesday, we want to know. Give us a call at 402-593-2700 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will investigate.
Reported By: Liz Dorland, email@example.com