Election Websites: Nebraska

Election Websites: Nebraska

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NE BONE2Researchers assessed state election websites for the Pew Center on the States between May-November 2010, using detailed criteria evaluating the content, lookup tools, and usability. Websites may have changed since they were assessed. See methodology (PDF).

Strengths include:

  • Comprehensive information for military and overseas voters, including instructions for completing the Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot and a lookup tool to check the status of a submitted ballot.
  • Extensive information about how to register to vote and cast a ballot—with details included in comprehensive FAQs—including eligibility and residency requirements, registration forms and deadlines, instructions on how to complete a ballot, polling place hours, and information about provisional ballots.
  • Voter registration information for those in hospitals and long-term-care facilities, students, and people with disabilities.
  • Lookup tools that allow voters to find out their registration status, provisional ballot status, and polling place information.
  • Polling place locator based on street address, allowing users to find this information regardless of registration status.
  • Complete information about statewide ballot measures, including full texts, summaries, and nonpartisan analyses.
  • Archived election results dating to 2000.
  • Website search function consistently located on every page.

Recommended improvements include:

  • On the home page, offer links in a prominent place to key content, such as registration information and lookup tools.
  • Provide an overview of important dates and deadlines for local elections (33 states offer).
  • Offer candidate information such as e-mail (19 states offer), website (20 offer), and phone (23 offer) contacts; candidate statements (6 offer); and occupations (6 offer).
  • List contact information for state political parties and links to their websites (32 states offer).
  • Link to the Federal Election Commission database of campaign finance reports for congressional candidates (37 states offer).
  • Provide an absentee ballot lookup tool for all voters (29 states offer)—not just those in the military or overseas—and a sample ballot lookup tool (22 offer).
  • Present important information in HTML rather than PDF documents, which are more difficult to read and search online.

Noteworthy Feature: Nebraska's website provides voters with a wealth of archived information, including historical candidate and ballot information, and 10 years of election results.

Initial Quick Fix: Add links to campaign finance information for state candidates (48 states offer) that is available on the Nebraska Accountability and Disclosure Commission's website.

Summary: Nebraska's website offers three out of five recommended lookup tools and scores well for providing exceptional voting information content.

www.sos.state.ne.us was assessed for content and lookup tools.

www.sos.ne.gov/dyindex.html was assessed for usability.