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One bill that is advancing in the State Legislature this year that affects folks living in Western Nebraska is LB 1055. LB 1055 is a bill that pertains to voting by mail. Many people living in Western Nebraska have found it convenient to vote by mail, rather than in person. So far, Garden County and Morrill County are the only two counties in Nebraska that have used this method of voting. The State of Oregon uses it state-wide.
LB 1055 requires small counties which use the mail for collecting ballots in one or more precincts to also maintain at least one in-person polling location and a drop box at the office of the county clerk. The bill also allows these counties to make use of additional in-person polling locations and drop boxes as they have need.
Voting by mail makes sense for farmers and ranchers who live far away from their county seat or their regular polling place. Voting through the mail allows voters to take their time and to make careful decisions about who or what they are voting on.
LB 1055 is a good bill for folks living in Western Nebraska. Allowing counties to have in-person polling places and drop boxes adds an additional of layer of security and privacy to the voting system. More importantly, though, after Garden County and Morrill County implemented mail-in-ballots, both counties saw an increase in voter turnout.
Because voting by mail increases voter turnout, I believe it is a good idea for Nebraska, especially those living in rural counties with sparse populations. So, last week I voted in favor of advancing LB 1055 on to Select File.