As Fortenberry’s resignation formalizes, Nebraskans wait for details about special election

Voters will fill Nebraska’s 1st District Congressional seat for the remainder of his term before deciding on their next representative
Published: Mar. 31, 2022 at 6:37 PM CDT
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(WOWT) - Rep. Jeff Fortenberry’s resignation goes into effect Thursday, those in Nebraska’s 1st Congressional District are waiting to hear details about the upcoming special election to replace him.

The 61-year-old Congressman announced his resignation over the weekend, two days after he was convicted of lying to the FBI. After 18 years in office, his resignation will formally go into effect as Congress adjourned for the day Thursday. That will prompt Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts to schedule the special election for Fortenberry’s seat, serving 710,000 Nebraskans, for the remainder of his term.

Ballots will have only two names on them. Nebraska’s Democratic and Republican parties will gather with their executive boards in the coming weeks to select a single candidate for their respective party.

The state then needs 65 days to print ballots and work out the details with election commissioners.

Voters will be able to cast their ballots in person 30 days ahead of the special election date; early ballots will be sent 15 days ahead of the vote to those who request them.

The special election will be the second of three votes cast for Nebraska’s next 1st District Congressional seat this year. The first will be in the May primary — because of the timing, Fortenberry’s name will still appear on that ballot — then the special election, and finally the November election to decide who fills the seat for the next term in January.

The special election isn’t cheap. With several counties in the district, Lancaster being the largest, the special election is estimated to cost $300,000-$325,000.

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