Trump rally
More than 25,000 people attended the Make America Great Again Victory Rally in Omaha, Nebraska on Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020. Photo by John Grinvalds

Nov. 7, 4:14 p.m.

Biden Wins 2020 Presidential Election

By Tony Papousek

Various news outlets announced Saturday morning that former Vice President Joe Biden won the presidency. The Associated Press reported Biden winning with 290 electoral votes. Fox News echoed these numbers, reporting Biden at 290 and Trump at 214.

In a speech on Friday in Wilmington, Delaware, Biden called for unity among Americans, to “come together instead of pulling apart.”

Biden also won the popular vote. With more than 74.5 million votes in his favor, it makes him the most-voted for candidate in America’s history, with a lead of more than 4 million votes.

Trump did not concede and falsely declared victory for himself on Twitter. This morning, he claimed “tens of thousands of illegal” votes were cast in Pennsylvania. He presented no evidence for these claims.

Biden’s expected inauguration day is Jan. 20, 2021. He will be the 46th President of the United States.

Nov. 4, 12:15 p.m.

Election 2020 Ballot Measure Results

by Calvin Damon

With 100% of Nebraska precincts having now reported, all initiatives and both amendments passed.

• Nebraska Amendment 1, an amendment to remove slavery as punishment for crime from the constitution, passed with 68.11% of voters voting for and 31.89% voting against. This amendment will remove language from the Nebraska Constitution that allows the use of slavery involuntary servitude as criminal punishments. 

• Nebraska Amendment 2, the Tax Increment Financing (TIF) Repayment Amendment, passed with 61.01% of voters voting for and 38.99% voting against. This amendment will increase the repayment period for tax-increment financing from 15 years to 20 years for areas where more than one-half of properties are designated as extremely blighted.

• Nebraska Initiative 428, the Payday Lender Interest Rate Initiative, passed with 82.82% of people voting for and 17.18% voting against. This initiative will limit the annual interest charged for delayed deposit services to 36%. 

• Nebraska Initiative 429, the Authorize Law for Gambling at Racetracks Amendment, passed with 64.94% of voters voting for and 35.06% voting against. This initiative will allow laws that authorize, regulate and tax gambling at licensed racetrack facilities in Nebraska. 

• Nebraska Initiative 430, the Authorizing Gambling at Racetracks Initiative, passed with 64.89% of voters voting for and 35.11% voting against. This initiative will enact a law that authorizes gambling operations within licensed racetracks and establishes a Nebraska Gaming Commission to regulate gambling operations.

• Nebraska Initiative 431, the Tax on Gambling at Racetracks Initiatives, passed with 68.63% of voters voting for and 31.37% voting against. This initiative will impose a tax of 20% gross gambling revenue of licensed gaming operators. It will also distribute 2.5% of tax revenue to the Compulsive Gamblers Assistance Fund, 2.5% to the General Fund, 70% to the Property Tax Credit Fund, and 25% to the counties where gambling is authorized at licensed racetracks.

Nov. 4, 11:59 a.m.

Republican representatives hold on to Nebraska

by John Grinvalds

Nebraska Republicans defeated Democratic challengers on Nov. 3, despite polling that indicated close races in the state’s 1st and 2nd congressional districts. According to results from the Nebraska Secretary of State, all three districts saw higher turnout than the 2016 and 2018 elections. 

National pundits looked to the neck and neck race in Nebraska’s 2nd congressional. Rep. Don Bacon’s challenger, Kara Eastman, came close to unseating him in the 2018 Midterm Election. But Bacon ended the night with a total of 162,087 votes to Eastman’s 146,992.

“So yes, we can be sad, we can be disappointed, but we have to know we fought the hardest fight we’ve done, and there’s still more to come,” Eastman said in her concession speech Nov. 3. 

Incumbent Republican Rep. Jeff Fortenberry carried Nebraska’s 1st congressional district by 63,000 votes. Bolz had a promising run, and internal Democratic polling showed a tightening race in August, but the Democratic state senator ultimately fell short.

Nebraska’s 3rd congressional district remained a Republican stronghold this cycle, with Rep. Adrian Smith beating the Democratic challenger, Mark Elworth Jr., by 172,592 votes.

Nov. 4, 11:32 a.m.

270 electoral votes are needed to win. According to AP, Biden leads with 227 electoral votes and Trump follows with 213. Key states that are too early to call are Pennsylvania, Georgia, Michigan, Wisconsin, North Carolina and Nevada.

Nov. 4, 8:57 a.m.

Three Nebraska ballot initiatives regarding gambling approved. Unofficial results.

Nov. 4, 12:30 a.m.

AP calls Joe Biden projected winner of Nebraska’s 2nd Congressional District.

Nov. 3, 11:49 p.m.

AP calls Donald Trump the projected winner for Florida with its 29 electoral college votes.

Nov. 3, 9:27 p.m.

Republican Ben Sasse leads race for Nebraska U.S. Senate at 64% followed by Democrat Chris Janicek at 30%. Unofficial results.

Nov. 3, 9:14 p.m.

Nebraskans turn to Twitter with live election reactions

Residents across the state of Nebraska share their experiences of voting and live elections on Twitter.

Nov. 3, 8:23 p.m.

AP calls Donald Trump projected winner for Indiana, Arkansas, Nebraska, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Tennessee, South Carolina, West Virginia, and Kentucky.

AP calls Joe Biden projected winner for Massachusetts, South Carolina, Delaware, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Washington D.C., and Colorado.

Nov. 3, 8:17 p.m.

A Close Race for Congress in NE-2

Nebraska’s second congressional district is a close race between incumbent GOP Don Bacon and Democratic candidate Kara Eastman. Bacon beat Eastman by just 2 points in the 2018 midterm elections, and the 2020 race looks like it’s going to be just as close again. The two nominees battle the big issues that voters want, including but not limited to COVID-19 and healthcare, along with police brutality and systemic racism in regards to the Omaha Police Department. Scholars, such as political scientists in Nebraska, weigh in on the voter predictions in Douglas County on election night, along with what this means for the future of Nebraska, depending on who takes the congressional seat.

Nov. 3, 8:10 p.m.

Gambling explained on the 2020 Nebraska ballot

Noah Bosilevac explains Initiative 429 and 430 on the 2020 ballot, as well as what gambling in Nebraska would look like if the initiatives were to pass.

The polls closed in Nebraska at 8 p.m., but live updates on county results in Nebraska can be found on Nebraska News Service’s website.

Nov. 3, 8:00 p.m.

It’s not too late to vote: using a provisional ballot

Despite any election uncertainties, you still have a right to vote.

To access a provisional ballot, voters can call the Civic Nebraska Voter Protection Hotline at (402) 890-5291.

Nov. 3, 7:40 p.m.

The polls are closing: here’s what’s happening so far

9dz6X 2020 state presidential results - Welcome to NNS live coverage of Election 2020

As of 7:30 p.m. CST on Election Day, Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden leads the way in the race with 51 electoral votes. Some states that have turned blue early in the race are Vermont, Massachusetts, Maryland and Delaware.

The two candidates must reach a total of 270 electoral votes. President Donald Trump has collected a total of 42 thus far. Some of the states ruling in Trump’s favor are Oklahoma, West Virginia, Tennessee, Kentucky and Indiana.

8gusy the race to 270 1 - Welcome to NNS live coverage of Election 2020

Nebraska’s polls will close at 8:00 p.m. CST. Live updates and results by county in Nebraska can be found on the Nebraska News Service website.

Nov. 3, 7:20 p.m.

UNL journalism students featured for their national news bias research

Students at the College of Journalism and Mass Communications have been hard at work analyzing election-based content in the media.

The 17 students in the University of Nebraska-Lincoln class JOMC 391, Media and Election 2020, have focused on analyzing media bias and overlapping rhetorics over the course of the fall semester.

The professor of the class, Maria Marron, guided the students to examine bias from various news sources. The sources included national outlets like the New York Times and Fox News.

KETV and Channel 3 aired interviews during their 10 p.m. newscasts with the students in the class to feature their findings.

The interview done with KETV can be seen on the news network’s website.

Channel 3’s interview can also be viewed on their website.

Nov. 3, 7:10 p.m.

Vanilla iced coffee in hand, UNL student shares her thoughts on the election

Borkenhagen edited - Welcome to NNS live coverage of Election 2020

Dunkin’ Donuts at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln was unusually empty Tuesday morning, but a few students were taking advantage of the short line.  

Alyce Borkenhagen was one of those UNL students. As she took a break from classwork to get a coffee, the 20-year-old athletic training major from Chicago, Illinois, reflected on the Election Day outcome.

“It’s going to be interesting,” she said. “It’s crazy to think that no matter what, a lot of people are going to be upset.”

Despite the results, she said she believes it’s important for Americans to vote.

“I just felt like it was my part to vote. If I have a say in anything, I want to take that choice to have a say,” she said. “That’s the reason we have a democracy. Everybody has a say.”

— Alyssa Onnen

Nov. 3, 6:50 pm.

UNL business major gives a thumbs up for voting

Bonow - Welcome to NNS live coverage of Election 2020

Cohan Bonow was enjoying the autumn sunshine near some large windows in the College of Business building on Tuesday afternoon.

Just a few hours earlier, the junior business management major said he had stopped at the Nebraska Union to vote.

“I think it’s going to be a very close election, there are going to be a lot of contributing factors,” the Colorado native said. “It might be pretty similar to the last election. It will be down to the wire and everyone will be on the edge of their seats until the results come out sometime in the morning.”  

Bonow said his first time voting was an exciting experience.

“I think it’s a blessing to be able to be able to vote for the direction of our country,” he said. “I think it’s my civic duty and a right that we all have and should absolutely take advantage of as Americans.”

— Monica Quinones

Nov. 3, 6:40 p.m.

An Omaha woman’s many reasons for voting red

At The Water’s Edge Church, one of the many voting locations in Omaha, Stephanie Kirchner lined up to vote.

Kirchner, 45, works at a marketing company and lives in Omaha.

Kirchner said she voted for President Donald Trump. She said she chose to vote for Trump because she says he has lower unemployment numbers and he enforces criminal reform. She also chose him because she believes he backs the military, has the greatest GDP growth rate and he donates his income. Although she voted Republican, Kirchner is a registered Independent.

She had no issue voting because she voted in person and went early enough to avoid a long line. Kirchner has voted in every election since she was 18.

— Cecelia Welsh

Nov. 3, 6:20 p.m.

First-time voter finds a sense of empowerment in submitting ballot

Screen Shot 2020 11 03 at 6.18.02 PM - Welcome to NNS live coverage of Election 2020

Ethan McDermott, a junior from Omaha majoring in global studies at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, is eligible to vote in the 2020 U.S. election.

It was roughly two months ago that he was moved by an ad on Instagram to register to vote online. When he was putting his name in for registration, he did not feel like he was doing something significant since it felt “the same as signing up for an email subscription.”

He requested to vote by mail due to the ongoing pandemic and was sent an absentee ballot, which he just returned on Oct. 25. McDermott described the process of filling out the ballot as “long and obscure.” The names at the front of the ballot were familiar to him, but as he moved on, he realized the scope narrowed to county-specific candidates and questions he had never considered before.

“I remember one of them was like: do you still want this guy to manage flooding in Douglas County? I’ve never thought about this at all in my life,” he said, adding that he spent two hours doing research on all of the candidates on the ballot because he wanted to be thorough.

McDermott did not hesitate to say that he had cast his first vote ever to Joe Biden as the next president, and his reason was that he thought “four more years with Trump is kind of scary.” Having been able to play a significant part in this election by casting his vote felt oddly empowering to him. He said it felt good to have his voice heard, even if the impact was relatively small.

— Blue Tan

Nov. 3, 6:10 p.m.

Herbie’s Market employee hopes fellow students will exercise their right to vote

Lowe edited - Welcome to NNS live coverage of Election 2020

Julian Lowe carefully stacked strawberry frosted Pop Tarts on the shelves of Herbie’s Market in the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s Cather Dining Complex. 

And while the junior fisheries and wildlife major was conscientious in his task, he said his mind was not totally focused on the work.

He’s instead thinking about the election and hoping his fellow students exercise their right to vote. 

“I think it’s important for them to vote because it’s very important to get our thoughts and opinions out into the world,” Lowe said. “Then we actually have a way to make change. If we don’t vote, then there’s no way for us to make positive or negative change in anyway.”

The election, he said, is a big turning point “because of how our world is.”

And with that, the cashier turned his attention to the chocolate Pop Tarts.

— Karlie Moore

Nov. 3, 5:50 p.m.

Education student fears a social media boom following Election Day

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Paige Smith, a sophomore secondary education major, sits against one of the concrete pillars outside of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Student Union, scrolling through her phone before she goes to work.

It’s quiet, with a bit of foot traffic from students making their way in and out of the Union.

Smith presents herself as calm despite saying she feels nervous for this election.

“I feel like social media is really gonna blow this up, and it is going to get ugly between people, but I’m hoping for the best,” she said. “Whoever wins, it doesn’t really matter; there’s gonna be a lot of this controversy over it.”

Being of age to vote, Smith, 19, was excited that she was able to fulfill her civic duty as an American citizen.

“You have your opportunity to use your voice and speak out about the issues that you want,” she said. “You can’t complain and make judgments based on those issues if you’re not willing to put yourself forward and make that change as well, or advocate for that change.”

— Brynn Ramos

Nov. 3, 5:30 p.m.

UNL senior appreciates enthusiasm around voting

ELN Mott - Welcome to NNS live coverage of Election 2020

Lauren Mott sat behind the Robert E. Knoll Residential Center desk as she worked a shift as an honors student staff member.

Mott, a senior biological sciences major at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln from Omaha, voted in her first election by absentee ballot.

“I think it’s really important to vote. I think there has been a huge push about that, which is awesome,” she said. “I think we need to just understand that everybody comes from different places and that we can all embrace each other and hopefully go forward to make things better.”

Even with tension from the election, Mott said she knows people care. “It’s definitely charged right now, but I also think there are a lot of awesome people who are just doing their best, whether they vote one way or the other.”

— Jolie Peal

Nov. 3, 4:40 p.m.

Exhausted by politics, Ag student picks Trump

krab - Welcome to NNS live coverage of Election 2020

Reid Preston is tired of politics.

He woke up to politics, two of his roommates babbling about election day outside his room this morning. Planning to spend his night with the election coverage on, he’ll probably fall asleep to it, too.

“It’s gotten a little mind numbing,” 19-year-old Preston said.

Nonetheless, Preston is among the ranks of students at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln determined to cast their vote in the 2020 general election, many of whom are also first-time voters.

Preston, a native of Lyons, Neb., made his first election count with a mail-in vote for President Donald Trump.

As a student of agricultural economics, Preston said he appreciated Trump’s approach toward economic growth and believed that under Trump’s presidency, the economy had changed for the better.

“We definitely got a lot stronger,” Preston said. “People are making a lot more money with their paychecks and taxes are going down.”

Though Preston did acknowledge that Trump made mistakes in handling this year’s COVID-19 pandemic, he argued that most criticisms have been made with “hindsight vision,” negating the circumstances of the time.

Preston said that although he’s worried about what may unfold after the election, he’s confident in a Trump victory. Compared to Trump, Preston noted the lack of solidarity in Democratic candidate Joe Biden.

“People are saying to settle for Biden,” Preston said. “I just don’t see that working.”

— Emma Krab

Nov. 3, 4:30 p.m.

Art museum manager worried Trump victory might encourage racism

ELN Stevenson 3 scaled - Welcome to NNS live coverage of Election 2020

The Sheldon Museum of Art is nearly empty on this unseasonably warm November morning. A staff member inside waits for the building to open, though she doesn’t expect much of a crowd.

Visitor services manager Janelle Stevenson is unsure about some things today. Who will win the election? Will there be civil unrest?

But she is certain that her 2020 mail-in ballot is secure and that Joe Biden is the better candidate for president.

“I think that he is just a much better person and he would listen to experts around him,” she said, her quiet voice echoing off the walls of the airy museum.

Stevenson said she is concerned about what another four years of Trump might mean for America.

“I would be most worried about far-right white people being more outright racist to people who are not white.”

— Brian Beach

Nov. 3, 4:15 p.m.

UNL Sophomore: “I’m excited to have a say”

wandrey - Welcome to NNS live coverage of Election 2020

Makayla Sulley is a 19-year-old sophomore at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. She is a biology major excited about voting in her first general election.

“I’m excited to have a say and finally be a part of the election process,” Sulley said.

Sulley decided to cast her first-ever presidential vote for President Donald Trump because of the values he holds, which she sees as more traditionally American.

Sulley voted by mail-in ballot since she is currently in college and not living in her home state of Colorado. While Sulley filled out the ballot with ease, there was an obstacle when trying to drop it off at a secure location.

“I was trying to find a ballot drop box, but I checked an on-campus location and a local store and there were none. I was stressed and late to work, so it was hard to drive around and find a place to send in my ballot,” said Sulley.

Regardless, Sulley reported that she was happy to have voted and satisfied that she did not encounter any further issues. The deadline for Colorado mail-in ballots was Monday, October 26 to ensure that ballots would be received by election day. Sulley sent hers in three days before the deadline.

— Kirsten Wandrey

Nov. 3, 4:00 p.m.

Spanish professor cherishes the right to vote

ELN Guevara - Welcome to NNS live coverage of Election 2020

Most days, Rigoberto Guevara, an associate professor of Spanish, spends his time analyzing Spanish short stories and discussing themes.

But today, he’ll leave the Spanish world to pursue a cherished American freedom: voting.

Guevara has voted for over 30 years, and this year won’t be any different.

“I like Election Day,” he said, as he prepared to teach Spanish 303 in an Oldfather Hall classroom.

While the year has been full of unexpected twists and turns, Guevara won’t let that stop him from pursuing his right to vote.He planned to vote Tuesday morning after the class.

For him, the only difference between this election year and previous years is the presence of COVID-19, and although this may change the process, he said, it does not change the opportunity.

Nov. 3, 3:30 p.m.

Trump voter cites economy, support for military as reasons for vote

This morning, at The Water’s Edge Church in Omaha, Stephanie Kirchner was lined up to vote for Donald Trump.

Kirchner, a 45-year-old registered Independent from Omaha who works at a marketing company, chose to vote for Trump because she says he has lower unemployment numbers and he enforces criminal reform. She also chose him because she believes he backs the military, has the greatest GDP growth rate and because he donates his income, she said.

She had no issue voting because she voted in person and went early enough to avoid a long line. Kirchner has voted in every election since she was 18.

— Cecelia Welsh

Nov. 3, 3:00 p.m.

Honoring struggles of the past, UNL professor encourages exercising voting rights

ELN Livingston - Welcome to NNS live coverage of Election 2020

In the dim halls of the eighth floor of Oldfather Hall, 34-year-old Taylor Livingston’s office was the only office that provided a hint of light Tuesday. With an “I Voted!” sticker on her red blazer, the assistant professor of anthropology sat at her desk and proudly acknowledged that she voted on the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage.

“Unless you’re a white male living in this country, every other group has had to fight for their right to vote,” she said. “So, it’s incredibly important to exercise that right and to honor those people that fought for it.”

Livingston said she is passionate about people expressing their opinions through voting. But she wishes there was a rethinking of the voting system after seeing the long lines. “We need more polling places open, and hopefully it will spur more people to volunteer to work the polls and to vote.”

— Erick Estrada

Nov. 3, 9:00 a.m.

Why Democrats are backing a write-in candidate instead of their official nominee

Reporter Cassandra Kostal explains why Democrats aren’t backing their own nominee for the Senate.

Nov. 2, 6:00 p.m.

How did a race between two self-described conservatives become so heated?

Reporter Luna Stephens explains the contentious race for District 1 in the state senate.

Nov. 2, 4:00 p.m.

Indigenous woman doubts she’ll vote in presidential election

ELN Welke - Welcome to NNS live coverage of Election 2020
Felecia Welke, a healer with the Ponca tribe, carries a bundle of sage she harvested on the Yankton Sioux Reservation in South Dakota.

Felecia Welke isn’t sure she’ll vote in Tuesday’s presidential election because she isn’t sure her vote as a Black indigenous woman matters.

“I have never lived in an America that was really supportive of a person like me,” she said. “I have never lived in an America that I felt supported me as a Black indigenous woman, previous foster care child. The system never worked for me.”

Read the story

Nov. 2, 3:30 p.m.

Five tips for voting safely

Reporter Kylie Graham walks through CDC guidance for voting safely.


Journalism @ University of Nebraska-Lincoln