Even if you are currently detained in a Nebraska jail, you may be eligible to vote.
Voting is both a fundamental right and a civic duty. Voting is the cornerstone of our democracy and the fundamental right upon which all our civil liberties rest. The right to vote is constitutionally protected under the state and federal constitutions. Dating back to the Jim Crow era, felony disfranchisement laws, which vary in severity from state to state, have prevented millions of Americans who are in jail, or have a prior felony conviction, from voting. Unfortunately, confusion about these laws strips many Americans of this fundamental right.
In Nebraska, individuals who have been previously convicted of a felony can vote two years after completing their sentence. However, the two-year waiting period is confusing to many Nebraskans and few know when, if, and how they can restore their voting rights. Being detained in jail at election time is equally confusing.
That’s why it’s important to know your voting rights! Your vote matters because you get to vote for candidates who make decisions about your lives, including criminal justice policy, education policy, economic development and important ballot initiatives addressing key issues.
To be eligible to vote in Nebraska, you must:
- Be a U.S. Citizen;
- Live in Nebraska (this includes self-supporting students who regard the location of their school as their home and military service members living on a military post with no intention to return to their former places of residence);
- Be 18 years old on or before November 8, 2022;
- Have not have been convicted of treason under Nebraska law or federal law unless your right to vote has been restored by a court;
- Have not been convicted of a felony under Nebraska's laws, another state's laws, or federal government laws, or if you were convicted of a felony, then at least two years must have passed since the completion of your sentence including any parole or probation term.
- Not be currently subject to a court order of mental incompetency. An adult under a guardianship order can still vote unless there is a court order stating otherwise.
Learn how to vote and find key resources in the PDF below.