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About the Election Commission

Douglas County is Nebraska’s largest county with a population of over 510,000 people and over 300,000 registered voters. It includes the City of Omaha as its major population area, as well as a number of smaller communities, including Bennington, Boys Town, Ralston, Valley, and Waterloo. The Douglas County Election Commission has a staff of thirteen full-time employees, including Election Commissioner Brian W. Kruse.

Nebraska law requires that counties with a population greater than 100,000 people must have an Election Commissioner appointed by the Governor. Other counties with a population between 20,000 and 100,000 people may have an Election Commissioner appointed by the County Board of Commissioners. Douglas County's first Election Commissioner was appointed in 1913. Click here to see a list of all the County Clerks and Election Commissioners in Douglas County's past.

The Election Commission is responsible for conducting elections for all the political subdivisions within the county. There are state-wide elections held every two years (a May primary and a November general), as well as City of Omaha Mayoral and City Council elections held every four years. Sanitary and Improvement District elections are held every year, and special elections can be scheduled during any year by various political subdivisions.

The Election Commission is not affiliated with any campaign or political party organization. We do provide campaigns and candidates address information, including your political party, in accordance with state law; however, we do not provide phone numbers or email addresses to candidates or campaigns. The Election Commission does not endorse or promote any candidates or issues.

Douglas County has been an innovator in elections in many different areas. It was one of the first counties to use ballot scanners to tally election results in 1976. Douglas County also drafts many of its poll workers, a practice that has allowed the county to always have sufficient numbers of workers when counties across the country struggle to find people to work the polls. In 2006, Douglas County became the first county in the country to program its ballots and ballot scanners and to print its own ballots, which saves Douglas County taxpayers over $250,000 per year.

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Staff and Departments

Brian W. Kruse Pic

Brian W. Kruse

Election Commissioner

(402) 444 - VOTE (8683)

questions@votedouglascounty.com

Brian is responsible for overseeing the entire Election Commission office. He was appointed as Election Commissioner by Governor Pete Ricketts in January 2016. His current term ends December 31, 2019.

Chris Carithers Pic

Chris Carithers

Deputy Election Commissioner

(402) 444 - VOTE (8683)

chris.carithers@votedouglascounty.com

Chris is responsible for providing a check and balance to the Election Commissioner. Nebraska law is designed so that a Deputy must be appointed who is a different political party than the Election Commissioner. Chris was appointed as Deputy Election Commissioner in September 2014. His current term ends December 31, 2019.

Justine Kessler Pic

Justine Kessler

Elections Manager

(402) 444 - 7142

jkessler@votedouglascounty.com

Justine is responsible for managing the day-to-day operations of the Election Commission. She handles all administrative and personnel matters, as well as all questions related to the running of elections within the office. She assigns and monitors all tasks required to successfully complete elections in Douglas County.

Regina Franzluebbers Pic

Regina Franzluebbers

Administrative Coordinator

(402) 444 - VOTE (8683)

regina.franzluebbers@votedouglascounty.com

Regina is responsible for the administrative functions needed at the Election Commission. She hires all the temporary and seasonal staff needed during election season and is responsible for managing their schedules. She performs numerous administrative tasks related to each election as well.

Ty Stephenson Pic

Ty Stephenson

Accounting Coordinator

(402) 444 - VOTE (8683)

ty.stephenson@votedouglascounty.com

Ty is responsible for the accounting functions within the office. He is responsible for completing purchases, entering payroll information, and maintaining the office budget. He is also responsible for billing each political subdivision for their costs associated with each election.

Valerie Stoj Pic

Valerie Stoj

Public Relations Coordinator

(402) 444 - VOTE (8683)

valerie.stoj@votedouglascounty.com

Valerie is responsible for working with many outside entities, including the various political subdivisions, campaigns, candidates, and political parties. She is responsible for assisting candidates with filing for office and maintaining all candidate, elected official, and elective office information. She also works with various media outlets to ensure the public is informed about what the Election Commission is doing.

Richard Wolf Pic

Richard Wolf

Assistant Election Systems & Technology Coordinator

(402) 444 - VOTE (8683)

rwolf@votedouglascounty.com

Richard is responsible for maintaining the office intranet, as well as the public website. He also is in charge of the programming of ballots and ballot scanners and is responsible for overseeing the printing of the election day ballots and for maintaining information in the voter registration system.

Anthony Schommer Pic

Tony Schommer

Assistant Election Systems & Technology Coordinator

(402) 444 - VOTE (8683)

anthony.schommer@votedouglascounty.com

Tony is responsible for assisting with maintaining the office intranet and public website, as well as producing maps for campaigns and candidates. He also assists with the programming of ballots and ballot scanners and maintaining information in the voter registration system.

Betsy Buehler Pic

Betsy Buehler

Mail Election Coordinator

(402) 444 - VOTE (8683)

betsy.buehler@votedouglascounty.com

Betsy is responsible for all aspects of early voting by mail including entering requests, sending ballots out through the mail, and checking ballots in as they are returned to the Election Commission office. She also assists with Sanitary and Improvement District (SID) elections and various other office duties.

Ruth McWilliams Pic

Ruth McWilliams

Customer Service Coordinator

(402) 444 - VOTE (8683)

ruth.mcwilliams@votedouglascounty.com

Ruth is responsible for all aspects of early voting in person at the Election Commission office. She oversees temporary staff to ensure that voters coming into the office are handled as quickly and professionally as possible. She also is responsible for answering phones and helping the public who visit the Election Commission office. She handles a number of other duties and helps in many other areas in the office.

Carol Prokop Pic

Carol Prokop

Voter Registration Supervisor

(402) 444 - VOTE (8683)

cprokop@votedouglascounty.com

Carol is responsible for maintaining all voter registration information. She oversees several temporary employees during election season to ensure that all voter registration applications are properly entered into the voter registration system and that other data affecting the voter list are handled in an appropriate manner.

Erik Servellon Pic

Erik Servellon

Election Board Coordinator

(402) 444 - VOTE (8683)

erik.servellon@votedouglascounty.com

Erik is responsible for recruiting, assigning, and paying all poll workers throughout the county. He makes sure that there are sufficient poll workers available for each election, makes sure they are trained properly, and then assigns them to the location where they will be working.

Elizabeth Zorko Pic

Elizabeth Zorko

Election Resource Coordinator

(402) 444 - VOTE (8683)

ezorko@votedouglascounty.com

Lizz is responsible for finding and equipping all the polling places in the county. She oversees several temporary employees who make sure that all the polling place supplies and equipment are ready for election day. She and her staff make sure each polling place has voting booths, supplies, and ballots each election. She is also responsible for organizing the materials after the election.

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Douglas County Election Commission  •  225 North 115th Street, Omaha 68154  •  Phone (402) 444 - VOTE (8683)  •  Fax (402) 444 - 4181
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