Sec. Gale Recommends Changes in Hospital/Nursing Home Election Day Protocols

Sec.of State John Gale

Secretary of State John Gale testified Wednesday to the Government, Military and Veterans Affairs Committee in support of LB433, a bill that looks to reduce opportunities for abuse or election fraud.

Gale recommended changes to portions of Nebraska election law that deals with providing ballots to people in nursing homes and hospitalson Election Day.

"It'spossible and in fact, likely, that with an aging baby boomer population, moreof our registered voters will be in nursing homes and hospitals on ElectionDay," observed Gale. "If they've been regular voters during their lifetime it'slikely they will want to vote, if they are able, in pending elections as well."

Currently, the county election commissioner or county clerk may train registeredvoters to act on behalf of their office in administering those ballots. Theymust be delivered by two registered voters who are not in the same politicalparty. The county election officials must also file their plan for distributingthose ballots with the Secretary of State's office prior to the election.

Under LB433, following the election, county election officials would alsobe required to provide a report to the Secretary of State's office indicatinghow many ballots were cast, the name and the party affiliation of those trainedto administer the ballots, the name and address of the nursing home or hospitalinvolved and any other information as requested. The report would need to befiled within 60 days following any statewide primary, general or specialelection.

"Thisfurther assures that the ballot process carried out in nursing homes andhospitals is completely fair and impartial," said Gale. "This adds alayer of transparency to these programs that currently does not exist and itprovides us with the information necessary to investigate further if there arequestions or suspicions about those ballots."

LB433 issponsored by Senator Scott Price of Bellevue.