Nebraska Revised Statute 32-816

Chapter 32


Official ballots; write-in space provided; exceptions; requirements.

(1) A blank space shall be provided at the end of each office division on the ballot for registered voters to fill in the name of any person for whom they wish to vote and whose name is not printed upon the ballot. A square or oval shall be printed opposite each write-in space similar to the square or oval placed opposite other candidates and issues on the ballot. The square or oval shall be marked to vote for a write-in candidate whose name appears in the write-in space provided.

(2) The Secretary of State shall approve write-in space for optical-scan ballots and any other voting system authorized for use under the Election Act. Adequate provision shall be made for write-in votes sufficient to allow one write-in space for each office to be elected at any election except offices for which write-in votes are specifically prohibited. The write-in ballot shall clearly identify the office for which such write-in vote is cast. The write-in space shall be a part of the official ballot, may be on the envelope or a separate piece of paper from the printed portion of the ballot, and shall allow the voter adequate space to fill in the name of the candidate for whom he or she desires to cast his or her ballot.


  • Where a voter writes in a name on the ballot, he must make a cross or other clear intelligible mark in the square opposite the written name to have the ballot counted. Yeoman v. Houston, 168 Neb. 855, 97 N.W.2d 634 (1959).

  • Since the nonpartisan judiciary act is silent as to write-in candidates, this section applies and permits the placing of blank lines on the ballots for write-in purposes. State ex rel. Zeilinger v. Thompson, 134 Neb. 739, 279 N.W. 462 (1938).

  • The voters of the state have an unimpeded right to vote for any candidate for public office as a write-in candidate although such candidate may not be entitled to have his name placed on either the primary ballot or on the general election ballot as a candidate by petition. State ex rel. Nelson v. Marsh, 123 Neb. 423, 243 N.W. 277 (1932).

  • In the absence of fraud or an unlawful purpose, a ballot with the name of a candidate written in should be counted although the name of the same candidate is also printed on the ballot. Shaw v. Stewart, 115 Neb. 315, 212 N.W. 760 (1927).

  • This section is general in application and did not supersede the nonpartisan judiciary act. State ex rel. Oleson v. Minor, 105 Neb. 228, 180 N.W. 84 (1920).

  • A candidate for an office on the nonpolitical ballot may be nominated by having his name written in by a sufficient number of electors at the primary election. State ex rel. Hughes v. Hogeboom, 103 Neb. 603, 173 N.W. 589 (1919).