Former Vice President Joe Biden won the 2020 presidential election with a little help from Douglas and Sarpy counties’ voters.
Both counties, which make up Nebraska’s 2nd Congressional District, had a jump in the number of residents who supported the Democratic presidential candidate. In 2016, about 35% of Sarpy County and 47% of Douglas County voters submitted a ballot in favor of Democratic presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton. On Nov. 3, about 43% of Sarpy County voters and 55% of Douglas County voters favored Biden.
The rest of Nebraska also increased its support for the Democratic presidential nominee, voting for him by a higher percentage than they did for Clinton. Still, Trump’s support remained steadfast. And some government officials, including Gov. Pete Ricketts, are waiting longer to officially declare Biden as the winner.
“This election is not over until every legal vote is counted and the process is scrutinized by the courts,” Taylor Gage, Ricketts’ director of strategic communication tweeted Saturday. “It is premature for some members of the media to declare a winner at this time.”
In Nebraska, the results have officially been counted. Congressional District 1 increased its voter turnout by 12% and support for the democratic nominee increased by six percentage points, from 35% to 41%. Support for President Donald Trump remained around 56%.
Congressional District 3 overwhelmingly supported Trump with 76% of its voters submitting a ballot in his favor, which is two percentage points more than 2016. Support for Biden was also two percentage points more than support for Clinton in 2016.
Nebraska broke its previous record turnout, with 74% of eligible voters casting ballots. Other than the congressional vote to Biden, Nebraska voted for Republican representatives. Sen. Ben Sasse won reelection, and all three representatives, Rep. Adrian Smith, Rep. Jeff Fortenberry and Rep. Don Bacon, will remain in Congress — though Rep. Bacon narrowly won his seat again after challenger Kara Eastman received about 46% of the votes.
Bacon told the Omaha World-Herald that he expects Trump will challenge the general election’s results, but he is unsure if Trump will provide enough evidence to show any potential voter fraud.
State officials reacted to the results as COVID-19 cases surged statewide. Nebraska legislator Tony Vargas, who won reelection in Legislative District 7, told Nebraskans to not gather in large crowds if they feel like celebrating the election.
“Let’s make sure we aren’t making the handling of the pandemic any harder for the outgoing or incoming President,” Vargas said in an Instagram post.
Nebraskans from across the state also supported the constitutional amendment to eliminate slavery as an acceptable punishment. Voters also passed a constitutional amendment to allow recipients of tax increment financing, which is used for redevelopment projects, to have 20 years to repay if half of the project’s property is “extremely blighted.”
The three initiative measures related to gambling all passed. Their passage permits people to gamble on horseraces in Nebraska and ensures the Nebraska Gambling Commission to regulate its practice. Additionally, 20% of the annual gross revenue will be taxed, which will then be distributed to the state and the county.
Payday lenders can only charge up to 36% annual interest because of the passage of another initiative measure. More than 80% of voters favored this measure.