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Posted 9:21 a.m. — On a day when eyes are on Omaha to see whether the city will vote for a Democratic presidential candidate for the first time since 1964, an eyewitness reports a big crowd this morning at a polling place in the city’s downtown precinct.
In the line is former Nebraska Gov. and U.S. Senate candidate Mike Johanns, reports Sarah Baker, an Omaha eyewitness for The Ballot Box.
The Douglas County Election Commission estimated turnout in the Omaha area would reach 68 percent.
Dave Phipps, election commissioner, said the county was ready for heavy voting.
“We have trained over 2,500 poll workers for over 250 polling places and printed enough ballots for 98 percent of the registered voters,” Phipps said.
The election commissioner said more than 55,000 early voting ballots had been mailed out. Nebraska state law allows people to vote early, or by absentee.
The last poll taken of Nebraska’s 2nd Congressional District, which overlays the core of the Omaha metropolitan area, showed the presidential race in a statistical dead heat.
Because Nebraska allots its electoral votes proportionally, Omaha’s one electoral vote has been thought to be up for grabs.
In October, U.S. Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.) visited Omaha, telling voters that their city could cast a tie-breaking electoral vote in an extremely close race.
— BY BRAD DAVIS
Check for updates, including photos of the Omaha elections, on The Ballot Box ’08 throughout the day.