A Nebraska lawmaker is concerned about the practice of ballot collection by third parties. Volunteers have been stationed outside Millard Public Schools in Omaha to collect completed mail-in ballots for the levy override election ending Nov. 14. The vote involves an extra 9-cent property tax levy authority for the school board, the Omaha World-Herald reported. Volunteer organizers said the effort is aimed at boosting turnout. They said they collect and turn in anyone’s ballot regardless of the person’s opinion on the override. Organizers said the effort is a matter of convenience in a time when people are less likely to possess stamps.
“We are doing it to increase civic engagement, to get the pulse of the community,” said Stacy Jolley, co-chair of Millard Citizens for Continued Excellence, a group in favor of the override. “We, of course, have no idea how people are voting when they hand us their ballot.”
Third-party ballot collection is legal in Nebraska, according to election commissioners in Douglas and Sarpy counties. But Sen. Lou Ann Linehan said she’s concerned about the effort and has “no doubt” legislation will be introduced to address it.