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NE officials say voting went mostly smoothly in state's first election requiring voter ID • Nebraska Examiner

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NE officials say voting went mostly smoothly in state's first election requiring voter ID • Nebraska Examiner


OMAHA — A school lockdown in Lincoln on Tuesday briefly shut down a polling place.

In Omaha, a power outage caused by a construction crew gaffe had some voters casting ballots by the light of a lantern.

Those were among a few notable mishaps reported on primary Election Day in Nebraska.

Voting took place Tuesday in Nebraska’s primary election. (Aaron Sanderford/Nebraska Examiner)

But the biggest change that Nebraskans saw in voting procedures — the new legal requirement that they show a form of identification to cast a ballot at the polls — caused no widespread problems or concerns as of early evening, according to a check with various Nebraska officials.

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“This has been a pretty smooth day,” said Steve Smith, spokesman for Civic Nebraska, a nonprofit dedicated to protecting voter rights and democracy. “We really didn’t know what to expect.” 

MVP of the day

He said earlier outreach efforts by the Nebraska Secretary of State — whom he called the “MVP” of the day — and advocacy groups appeared to have helped educate voters about requirements under the recently passed law.

Overall, Civic Nebraska as of about 6:30 p.m. Central Time reported an “efficient” Election Day. Smith said about four dozen observers visited a total of about 100 precincts.

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Just under 50 queries were received by the “election protection line,” he said.

“Our primary is the state’s first election with the new ID requirements, and it continues to be top-of-mind with voters,” said Heather Engdahl, Civic Nebraska’s director of voting rights. “We have been providing clarity about the new law so that everyone who wishes to cast a ballot can do so without impediment.”

Among issues reported to Civic Nebraska:

  • In Omaha and Lincoln, poll workers in a few instances were briefly unsure how to proceed after a voter presented a current Nebraska driver’s license that contained an old address. The new law allows outdated or expired ID cards, as long as they carry the person’s photo and name. Civic Nebraska said each of those situations was “quickly resolved,” and the voters were allowed to cast their ballots
  • In Douglas County, a poll worker asked a voter to put away a mobile phone while in the voting booth. The voter cited a state law that allows voters to employ such resources to help in their voter process — and was allowed to vote.

Driver’s license and state ID were most common

Jackie Ourada, spokeswoman for the Secretary of State’s Office, said voting across the state had gone mostly smoothly into the evening.

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She said most voters have chosen to show either a driver’s license or a state ID.

And now for a little ‘mood voting’ on Election Day in central Omaha

A news photographer said on social media that his Supreme Court-issued media photo ID was rejected. He wondered out loud if he would “risk a confrontation” by returning to the polling place in Otoe County.

Ourada said she was told by the county clerk that it was the name on the ID that caused confusion for the workers, as opposed to the type of ID. The name reportedly was similar to another voter’s name on the roster, the clerk said.

In another instance, Ourada said, a voter in Douglas County showed an out-of-state driver’s license, which is not acceptable ID under the new law. She said the person was allowed to fill out a provisional ballot, which requires the voter to report to the election commissioner within a week with an acceptable form of ID so the ballot can be counted.

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Social media also highlighted pro-life messages scribbled in chalk near a polling place at Omaha Skutt Catholic High School.

Brian Kruse, Douglas County election commissioner, said he did not see the chalkings as electioneering violations since no abortion-related initiatives were on the ballot. 

SWAT team in the area

Kruse said that voting overall in Douglas County had gone relatively smoothly into the evening, with perhaps the most notable mishap being the power outage in central Omaha that affected two church polling places for less than two hours.

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Voting continued with the help of natural light in one church. The other had voting booths in the basement. The Election Commissioner’s Office sent a runner to the facility with several  lanterns, and the church also provided lanterns and flashlights.

The hallway lighting at one central Omaha voting precinct was provided by flashlight after a power outage on Tuesday. (Aaron Sanderford/Nebraska Examiner)

In Lincoln, a polling place at Mickle Middle School was closed from about 8:20 a.m. to 8:54 a.m. because the school was placed in lockdown, said Lancaster County Election Commissioner Todd Wiltgen.

The school chose to go into lockdown mode after learning that the Lincoln Police Department and its SWAT team were in the neighborhood serving an arrest warrant.

Wiltgen said his office had a plan to relocate the polling place to another spot nearby, but the school reopened before the move started.

He said there was light voter turnout at the time, and he did not think anyone was turned away.

Overall, Wiltgen said, voting operations had gone smoothly into the evening. He knew of no problems related to voter ID.

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Washing machine woe

An official at Spirit Life Church in Bellevue said morning voting had gone without any snags.

A yard sign planted at the entrance of a long driveway reminded voters of the need for ID. Another sign waited at the door.

“People have their IDs ready,” said Stephanie Warren.

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Polling inspector Janet Bonet, at a South Omaha voting place, said voter ID information provided by the Secretary of State was helpful tool for workers. (Cindy Gonzalez/Nebraska Examiner)

At the American Legion Post 331 in South Omaha, polling official Janet Bonet said voting was light and no concerns had surfaced with voter ID.

She said one woman, a naturalized citizen born in El Salvador, had walked to the polling place to vote for the third time since becoming a citizen. She told workers that her mail-in ballot had gotten ruined in the washing machine. 

Bonet said the decision was made for the woman to cast a provisional ballot, as everyone wanted to see her vote count.

“It’s been a good experience so far for me and everybody else,” Bonet said of the day.

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Nebraska

Huskers win Big Ten Championship with 2-1 victory over Penn State

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Huskers win Big Ten Championship with 2-1 victory over Penn State


Nebraska baseball entered Saturday’s Big Ten Championship game after climbing out of elimination following a first-round loss to Ohio State. The Huskers won four straight games to reach their final challenge in the tournament, Penn State. In a low-scoring battle, Nebraska edged out the Nittany Lions, claiming its first-ever Big Ten tournament title.

The Huskers earned just six hits and two RBIs on the day, while Penn State finished with four hits. Jackson Brockett started on the mound for Nebraska and pitched 8.0 innings, facing down 29 batters.

After coughing up a run in the first, Brockett threw lights out in the following seven innings, finishing the game with five strikeouts and surrendering four hits. Brett Sears pitched the final inning and threw three-up, three-down.

Josh Caron delivered the equalizer with his sixth home run of the tournament, a record, before Gabe Swansen hit the go-ahead RBI double in the ninth, bringing in Cayden Brumbaugh.

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With the win, Nebraska punches its ticket to the NCAA Regionals for the first time since 2021 and the seventh time in the last 10 years. The Regionals are set to begin on Friday.

Contact/Follow us @CornhuskersWire on X, and like our page on Facebook to follow ongoing coverage of Nebraska news, notes, and opinions.





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Nebraska Baseball Not Among 16 Regional Hosts

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Nebraska Baseball Not Among 16 Regional Hosts


Nebraska baseball is not hosting an NCAA regional in 2024.

That isn’t necessarily a surprise. The Huskers have an RPI at No. 28 and some glaringly bad losses on the résumé, but there remained some outside hope that the committee would find a place for a regional going to Nebraska.

Among the 16 teams selected to host, East Carolina is No. 22 in RPI. Even further down, Arizona’s RPI is 31. The Pirates did get to 43 wins with a tough schedule though, and the Wildcats had the No. 1 nonconference strength of schedule on top of winning the Pac-12 regular season and tournament.

Earlier in the season, Lincoln looked primed to host a regional. The Huskers were ranked by several outlets and rolling. But the midweek woes took over in April. Over the last seven games played on a Tuesday or Wednesday, the only win came with Jackson Brockett’s no-hitter.

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Nebraska went 5-8 in games played on Tuesday and Wednesdays for the season, including a Big Ten Conference Tournament opening game loss to Ohio State before an elimination game win over Purdue the next night.

No, the five-game winning streak through the loser’s bracket didn’t bump Nebraska’s RPI enough to warrant a host selection. But it will certainly scare some of the teams selected to host.

NU went 4-0 over the weekend. In games played Thursday through Sunday, the Huskers went 34-12 this year. The regionals will be played Friday to Sunday or Saturday to Monday this week. That bodes well for a team that has enjoyed weekend success all season.

The full field of 64 will be announced Monday at 11 a.m. CDT on ESPN2. Nebraska is already in the field as an automatic qualifier for winning the Big Ten tournament.

The 16 host sites and their records are listed below.

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Stay up to date on all things Huskers by bookmarking All Huskers, following HuskerMax on X, and visiting HuskerMax.com daily.





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BIG TEN CHAMPIONS: Nebraska Outlasts Penn State 2-1 for First Big Ten Tournament Title

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BIG TEN CHAMPIONS: Nebraska Outlasts Penn State 2-1 for First Big Ten Tournament Title


Nebraska baseball has won the Big Ten Conference Tournament Championship.

NU outlasted Penn State 2-1 in the league title game Sunday. This is the first conference tournament championship for the Big Red since joining the Big Ten.

Nebraska has won five conference tournament titles in program history: 1999, 2000, 2001, 2005, 2024.

No Big Ten team since Ohio State in 1995 had dropped their first game and ended up as the champion. That tournament consisted of only four teams where the Buckeyes had to play four games. Nebraska played in six games over six days.

The Huskers improve to 39-20 ahead of the NCAA Tournament beginning this next weekend. Penn State’s season comes to a close at 29-24.

The Nittany Lions struck first when a pickoff throw to second went awry, scoring the runner from third. From there, No. 8 seed managed just one more hit.

Nebraska didn’t get on the board until Josh Caron belted a home run over the right field wall. Then, in the top of the ninth inning, Gabe Swansen, who had two of Nebraska’s six hits on the day, crushed a double that scored Cayden Brumbaugh.

After Jackson Brocket posted a sensational 8.0 innings, the Big Ten Pitcher of the Year took the hill for the save. Brett Sears worked a 1-2-3 ninth inning to take the title back to Lincoln.

Caron, with a conference tournament record six home runs this week, was named Most Outstanding Player of the Big Ten Conference Tournament. Other Huskers on the All-Big Ten Tournament team are Swansen, Caron, Josh Stokes, and Will Walsh.

Nebraska will learn its regional destination on Monday. The Selection Show airs at 11 a.m. CDT on ESPN2.

Nebraska Athletics

Nebraska’s Path to the Big Ten Conference Tournament Championship

Tuesday: No. 7 seed Ohio State run rules Nebraska in seven innings. | Recap, Photos

Thursday: The Huskers get a gem on the hill form Brett Sears and Drew Christo to eliminate Purdue. | Recap, Photos

Friday: Nebraska avenges their opening game loss to Ohio State by sending the Buckeyes home. | Recap, Photos

Saturday 1: Will Walsh tosses a complete game to send NU to a do-or-die semifinal game. | Recap, Photos

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Saturday 2: Nebraska crushes Penn State to reach its first conference tournament title game since 2019. | Recap, Photos

Stay up to date on all things Huskers by bookmarking All Huskers, following HuskerMax on X, and visiting HuskerMax.com daily.





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