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Political Observers

There are laws and rules regulating observing the election process at polling places and the Election Commission and also for conducting exit polls on election day.

Observing at a Polling Place

Rules

  • Observers may be present at a polling place on Election Day.
  • Observers are not allowed to do the following.
  • Obstruct the doors or passageways of any precinct, or hamper the free ingress to and egress from the polling place.
  • Be within eight feet of the ballot boxes.
  • Be within eight feet of any voting booths.
  • Question poll workers regarding procedures.
  • Question any voters unless they go past the 200 foot electioneering limit markers.
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Observing at the Election Commission

Rules

  • All visitors must check in with a member of the Election Commission staff and have proper credentials. All visitors must wear their credentials badge at all times in the Election office.
  • While ballots are not being received or counted, visitors and observers must remain within the lobby area, unless escorted by Election Commission staff.
  • All visitors must be accompanied by an Election Commission staff member if they are accessing secure areas of the building and must sign in and out when passing through a secured doorway.
  • All visitors must stay within the designated areas unless accompanied by an Election Commission staff member.
  • No visitors, observers, or members of the media shall be permitted to enter a restricted or secure area without the Election Commissioner's authorization.
  • All questions should be directed to your assigned Election Commission staff member.
  • Observers must not obstruct the paths of Election Commission workers.
  • The Election Commissioner reserves the right to limit political observers to one if at any time space becomes an issue (§ 32-1013).
  • Other than Election Commission staff members and election workers, no person shall be permitted to be within eight feet of any ballot boxes or within eight feet of any boxes being counted by the board (§ 32-910).

Releasing Election Results

  • The following actions will result in a person being charged with a Class IV felony.
  • Disclosing any election results or election returns before the closing of the polls without the express authorization of the Election Commissioner.
  • Receiving partial returns or election results and releasing such partial returns or results without the express authorization of the Election Commissioner.
  • Disseminating any election results or election returns before the closing of the polls.
  • Causing the release of any election results or election returns without the express authorization of the Election Commissioner.
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Conducting Exit Polls

Rules

  • No person shall conduct an exit poll, a public opinion poll, or any other interview with voters on election day within 20 feet of the entrance of any polling place or, if inside the polling place or building, within 100 feet of any voting booth. Any person violating this section shall be guilty of a Class V misdemeanor (Nebraska Revised Statutes § 32-1525).
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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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