Thursday, June 21, 2018
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Ballot changes driven by new laws

A change dealing with county offices and the addition of Spanish to the ballot will greet voters at the polls during the May 13 primary.

Dawson County clerk Karla Zlatkovsky said the names of all candidates running for county office will not appear on the primary ballot—only contested races.

That’s because of a cost-saving measure recently passed by Nebraska legislators, she said.

As a result, only the names of candidates for district clerk, sheriff, register of deeds and surveyor will be on the ballot.

Uncontested races will automatically advance to the general election ballot in November.

Previously, the name of a lone candidate for an office appeared on the primary ballot as unopposed.

Zlatkovsky said the legislation will save the county money in printing costs which was the intent of the bill’s sponsor as well as streamlining the election process.

Under LB56, if the number of candidates for a county office from each party in the primary election does not exceed the number of candidates that may be nominated by the party, those candidates automatically advance to the general election.

Election costs increased during the 2012 general election, Zlatkovsky said, when the county printed ballots that included both the English and Spanish languages.

Providing ballots in both languages was required after the last U.S. Census showed a higher number of Spanish-speaking residents living in Dawson County, she said.

On Tuesday, an official with the Nebraska Secretary of State’s office said there are no amendments or issues on the primary ballot yet which change in the coming months.

Constitutional amendments from the Nebraska Legislature can appear on the primary or general election ballot.

The general election is Nov. 4.

Ballot issues that are the result of initiative petitions are included on the general ballot.

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