Election 2016

Count Nebraska voters all-in.

As the raucous 2016 presidential contest enters its final weeks, voter registration figures have far exceeded estimates, and tens of thousands of Nebraskans already have cast their ballots.

The number of ballots returned or cast in person reached 41,938 on Oct. 14, Secretary of State John Gale said Tuesday.

Voter registration figures hit 1,198,546, far exceeding the 1,185,000 Gale had hoped to see.

"When the number gets that high, you hope that turnout increases as well," the secretary of state said. "That would be a tremendous milestone in the history of Nebraska elections."

Registered voters can ask that early ballots be mailed to them until the close of business Oct. 28. Early in-person voting will continue at county election offices through Nov. 7, the day before the election.

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Lancaster County Election Commissioner Dave Shively said his office had mailed 22,000 ballots as of Monday. Some 8,095 of them had been cast by Monday, including nearly 900 through in-person early voting.

In Douglas County, the number was 17,872; in Sarpy County, 5,899.

"This presidential election has the potential to break all previous early voting records in my county," Sarpy County Election Commissioner Wayne Bena said.

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