By Russ Pankonin
The Imperial Republican
Nebraskans, along with their fellow Americans, will go to the polls Tuesday, Nov. 6, to decide whether to re-elect Democratic President Barack Obama or elect Republican challenger Mitt Romney.
While much of the election focus falls on the presidential race, Nebraskans will also be electing a U.S. senator after Sen. Ben Nelson (D) decided not to seek re-election.
On the Republican side, state senator Deb Fischer of Valentine will be trying to take over the seat held by the Democrats during Nelson’s two six-year terms.
Former Democratic U.S. Senator Bob Kerrey is vying to return to the Senate after leaving his seat in 2001 at the end of two terms.
Fischer built a large lead coming off a primary victory over Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning.
Polls indicate she still holds a lead going into the last week, however her cushion has narrowed.
Voters in the Third Congressional District will cast votes for their Congressman. The incumbent is Republican Adrian Smith. He is being challenged by Democrat Mark Sullivan.
This marks the off-election year for state offices and most Chase County offices.
The only election at the county level will be for District 1 commissioner. Republican Chuck Vette won the Primary run-off and is unopposed in the General.
The only other contested race on the General Election ballot is in Imperial for two seats on the city council.
Candidates include incumbent Sue Moore and challengers Junior Reeder and Dan Thompson.
Voters will also decide the fate of four amendments to the Nebraska Constitution.
Two of the four deal with the Nebraska Legislature.
Amendment 3 seeks to change the term limits for state senators from two consecutive terms to three consecutive four-year terms.
In addition, Amendment 4 asks Nebraskans whether or not they want to raise the salaries of state senators from $12,000 per year to $22,500 per year.
Amendment 1 would allow impeachment of civil officers for acts committed while running for office.
Amendment 2 would put the right to hunt, fish and harvest wildlife into the Constitution.
Early voting through Nov. 5
Voters wishing to vote early can do so at the Chase County Clerk’s office until 4 p.m. Monday, Nov. 5.
On Election Day Nov. 6, polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Chase County Clerk Debbie Clark said 293 voters had already cast their ballots by mid-day Tuesday. In the last presidential election in 2008, about 330 voters voted early.
The 293 early votes represents nearly 11 percent of the county’s 2,572 registered voters. Of those, 1,828 are Republican, 450 Democrat, 289 non-partisan, four Libertarian and one America’s Elect.
Polling places for the respective precincts in Chase County are as follows:
Imperial West Lied Imperial
Imperial East Imperial
Imperial Rural United Methodist Church—Imperial
Wauneta Wauneta Senior Center
Early Voting Chase County Courthouse