Douglas County Election Commissioner Dave Phipps is predicting a typically low turnout in next week's primary election, but he says he hopes voters will prove him wrong.
There are 274,321 people in Douglas County eligible to vote in the City of Omaha primary plus about 9,000 more Sarpy County voters who live within the boundaries of the Omaha Public Schools.
Phipps said he expects about 18 percent of voters to come to the polls.
The city primary election typically sees low voter turnout: Four years ago, 19.2 percent of registered voters went to the polls.
This year, it's an election that will whittle down a five-way mayor's race to two candidates and help shape an all-new Omaha School Board.
Those voters will pick two of the following to advance to the May 14 mayoral general election: Republicans City Council member Jean Stothert; former City Councilman Dan Welch; businessman Dave Nabity; Democratic Mayor Jim Suttle and State Sen. Brad Ashford, an independent.
All seven Omaha City Council seats also will appear on the ballot, and three races will be whittled down.
Everyone who lives in the boundaries of Omaha Public Schools will have a chance to vote on a school board member.
The Nebraska Legislature cut the number of school board members from 12 to nine, and all seats are up for election. There are three or more candidates in each subdistrict, which means at least one person will not make it to the general election in each case.
“Even with the addition of the Omaha Public School races, it appears that voter interest isn't very high this election,” Phipps said. “As always when making a lower turnout prediction, I hope I'm wrong. I certainly do encourage everyone who is eligible to vote on April 2nd and make their voices heard.”
Here's what you need to know to vote:
• Polls are open 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday.
• You can vote early at the election commission until Monday.
• A few polling places have changed. To find your polling place, go to votedouglascounty.com if you're in Douglas County or sarpy.com/election if you're in Sarpy County.
• For more information, you can call the Douglas County Election Commission at (402) 444-8683 or the Sarpy County Election Commission at (402) 593-2167.
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