It’s Primary Election Day In Nebraska Posted by John Axtell Date: May 12, 2020 1:03 pm Leave a comment 15 Views CHADRON – Today is primary election day in Nebraska with the polls open from 7:00 to 7:00 PM MT. There are no polls in Dawes County, where all elections have been done by mail for several cycles, but anyone who hasn’t mailed their ballot in will need to drop them off at the courthouse by 7:00 PM. The same applies to voters in other counties who received absentee ballots. Each county has at least one secure ballot collection box; Dawes County’s is at the east entrance to the courthouse in Chadron. There aren’t a lot of local contested races in Dawes, Sioux, or Sheridan Counties with none at the county level in Sheridan County and just 1 both Dawes and Sioux – both for the Republican nomination for County Commissioner. In Dawes County, it’s District 3 where Webb Johnson is stepping down and Tony Johnson is squaring off with Levi Grant for the right to meet Democrat Marisa Betson in Nov. Sioux County Commissioner Josh Skavdahl is challenged by Jim Voeller. There aren’t enough candidates for primaries for any school board or city council in any of the 3 counties except for Crawford City Council North Ward where there’s a 3-way race between Troy DeGunia, Zac Riggs, and former Mayor Dave Nixon. The top 2 move on to November. 47th District State Senator Steve Erdman is unopposed for a 2nd term while 43rd District Senator Tom Brewer is challenged by Tonya Storer, but both will advance to the general election. 7-term Republican Congressman Adrian Smith has 4 little-known primary challengers while Mark Elworth Jr is unopposed on the Democratic side. Republican U-S Senator Ben Sasse has one little-know opponent, Matt Innis, while 7 Democrats are running for the right to oppose him – Dennis Frank Macek, Chris Janicek, Larry Marvin, Angie Phillips, Alisha Shelton, Daniel M. Wik, and Andy Stock PRIMARY STATEWIDE…..MAY 12 Nebraska Secretary of State Bob Evnan says there could be a record turnout because concerns over the coronavirus led to a record number of requests for absentee ballots and a record 354,000 of those ballots are already in – putting the total within about 60,000 of the alltime primary turnout. It’s the first statewide in-person election in the country since Wisconsin’s much-criticized April 7 primary, which was at the height of the pandemic in that state and was briefly delayed before the courts ordered it to be held as planned. Nebraska Democrats pushed to either delay today’s election or shift to an all-mail election, but Evnan and Gov Pete Ricketts insisted in-person voting needed to be an option. Ricketts repeated his position just yesterday. PLAY SOUNDBITE Ricketts also issued an executive order yesterday waiving the law requiring that polling place workers be residents of that county to allow National Guard members help out in 8 counties hit especially hard by the coronavirus, including Scottsbluff. He said it’s just a precaution against long lines and waits, with the Guard members to be used only if needed in a given county. They won’t be in uniform, but will wear masks and gloves just like all poll workers across the state.