More Nebraska county election officials are seeking state permission to conduct elections exclusively by mail as turnout figures rise. Garden County was the first in Nebraska to conduct a countywide all-mail election after receiving approval to pilot the project from the Secretary of State this year, the Lincoln Journal Star reported . Nebraska counties with populations of 10,000 people or fewer have had the option since 2009 to hold all-mail elections, if given state approval. More than 58 percent of Garden County voters cast a ballot in the May 15 primary election, compared to statewide voter turnout of about 24 percent.
Before this month’s primary, some of the county’s voters used to have to drive up to 40 miles (64 kilometers) to cast a ballot at one of the county’s four precinct sites.
Teresa McKeeman, county clerk and election commissioner, said ensuring precincts were properly staffed along with hiring and training poll workers can be difficult.
Other county election officials have also applied to expand all-mail elections in rural precincts to a county level.