Just as predicted, voter turnout exceeded previous midterm elections both in Lincoln and across Nebraska on Tuesday.
Lancaster County's voter turnout reached 60 percent, according to unofficial results at 11 p.m. Election Commissioner David Shively had predicted 55 percent of the county's nearly 192,000 registered voters would cast a ballot.
With returns still funneling in from across the Nebraska, it was still too early to estimate statewide turnout as of late Tuesday.
Overseeing his final contest after a 20-year tenure as the state's chief election officer, Secretary of State John Gale predicted 56 percent of the state's 1.2 million registered voters would turnout to vote.
Gale's successor will be Lincoln attorney Bob Evnen, a Republican who easily defeated Democratic nominee Spencer Danner.
Tuesday's highly energized turnout was largely driven by early voting.
Across the state, some 213,791 voters had requested an early ballot, while two-thirds voted the weekend before the polls opened.
In Lancaster County, nearly 90 percent of the 35,591 requested early ballots were turned in by Monday evening.
The turnout energy carried over onto Tuesday with poll workers in several precincts reporting voters waiting for doors to open at 8 a.m.
Margaret Fintel, who has worked at Precinct 6F-1 at Southview Baptist Church for 18 years, said she had never seen turnout for a midterm election like on Tuesday.
"It's been a nice, steady busy," Fintel said. "Young, old, people are turning out."
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