Tuesday, nearly 800,000 Nebraskans cast a vote in the general election. We are proud that so many people in our state made their voices heard and exercised one of the fundamental rights in our country.
However, there were many people in our state that found difficulty when it came to casting their ballot. Confusion around the number and location of polling places in Omaha made it difficult for Nebraskans to vote and participate in the choices that will affect their communities and families in the future. The creation of the legislation that led to some of these problems was highlighted in an article in The Reader last week, “The Company Phipps Keeps” referring to Douglas County Election Commissioner Dave Phipps.
Wednesday, Nebraska Appleseed joined a group of community leaders and organizations in calling for answers and accountability from those whose job is to make sure Nebraskans are able to participate in fair, honest, and accessible elections.
The officials who organize and run our elections must be accountable to the people. They hold in their power the fundamental freedom of our democracy, and they must be worthy of our trust.
We, and many members of our community, call for a full, impartial investigation into this matter. We also ask the state Legislature to entrust the power of organizing and holding our elections to an independently elected official so the people of Nebraska can decide for themselves if that trust is being honored.
Each ballot cast Tuesday was a voice speaking for the future of important issues in Nebraska – health care, education, immigration reform, taxes and public infrastructure, and many more. We must make sure that no eligible voter in Nebraska is in danger of having that voice silenced.