Nebraska House race may be bellwether for Democrats

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In this April 10, 2020 photo, Robert E. Lee inserts his ballot into a drop box outside the Douglas County Election Commission office in Omaha, Neb. Officials in Nebraska are forging ahead with plans for the state’s May 12 primary despite calls from Democrats to only offer voting by mail and concerns from public health officials that in-person voting will help the coronavirus spread. Republican leaders have encouraged people to request absentee ballots but say polling places will be open. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Nebraska will hold the first statewide in-person election in more than a month on Tuesday, offering clues not only about the wisdom of going to the polls during a pandemic but also about the mood of Democrats in a key congressional district.

Despite pleas from Democrats that the state shift to an all-mail election or delay the vote as other states have done, Republican leaders insisted the state proceed with the scheduled election even as they encouraged people to request absentee ballots.

It will be the first statewide vote since Wisconsin’s much-criticized April 7 primary but unlike that election, a surge of absentee ballots could mean Nebraska’s vote will be notable for a ghost town feel at polling places. 

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