So you want to contact your legislator...

Explore the best ways to reach representatives in Nebraska and Iowa and learn how you can vote as safely as possible in 2020.

When you have concerns and questions, it can be hard to keep track of which legislator you should reach out to and how you can get in touch. Luckily, there are easy tools and quick steps to expedite the process. Here’s your guide to contacting the legislator for your district.

1. Visit the official site of the Nebraska Unicameral Legislature and the Iowa Legislature

 

The first step in contacting your legislator is identifying your senator and district number. You are more than welcome to contact any representative, but it’s most effective when you contact a legislator representing you directly.

In Nebraska, use the Find Your Senator tool found on the Nebraska Legislature website to find who you’re looking for. This tool will ask you to enter your street address, city, state and zip code. After you enter this information, your senator and district number will appear. From there, you can click on the “Web Page” button and find their contact information.

In Iowa, use the Find Your Legislator tool found on the Iowa Legislature website. This toll will also ask you to enter your address, city or zip code to find legislators serving that area.

2. Call a representative

 

If you have an issue that is urgent, calling directly is best practice.

Here is a list of Nebraska senators’ web pages, which is sorted by last name or district.

Here is a list of Iowa senators’ web pages, which is sorted by last name or district.

A key thing to consider when calling a representative is your professionalism. Establish your position and credibility by being clear and concise. Share facts about the issue you are calling about to make it easier for your representative to understand what the problem is and how they can help. Last, remember to thank them for their time and consideration.

3. Write a letter or email to a representative

 

If calling a representative isn’t accessible for you, consider writing them! Your letter should be direct, starting with “Dear [insert the representative’s name]” and continue with a few sentences or paragraphs about a single issue that you personally support or oppose. It should also be clear in your letter that you are a constituent, or resident, in the district and state they represent.

To increase the effectiveness of your message, consider including a personal testimonial about why you feel a certain way or have an issue with a specific bill. Make sure to include reasons why the bill has a community or personal impact. Lastly, always be sure to thank them at the end of the letter or email.

4. Reach out to a representative via social media

 

Although contacting a representative on social media is off the traditional path, it is the newest and easiest method. One disadvantage is that social media can be less personal to whomever you’re voicing your concerns to. The advantages of using social media is that your comment is available in the public eye and other users can read your post.

Social media is a great tool because you can ask questions, reply to a legislator’s post and connect with other users who want to have a dialogue about topics of concern with you. Get started today by searching for your representative on Facebook or Twitter!

COVID-19 is impacting people’s ability to get to the polls. In Nebraska, elections are coming up on May 12th. To avoid exposure, make sure you put in your request for a mail-in ballot. You will be able to request your mail-in your ballot until May 1st.

All registered voters in Nebraksa should receive an early voting ballot application in the mail. If you haven’t yet, see the steps you need to take to ensure your election experience is as safe as possible this year.

Douglas County

Applications may be mailed or delivered to 12220 W Center Road, Omaha, NE 68144; faxed to 402-444-4181; or a scan or picture of your application can be emailed to earlyvoting@votedouglascounty.com. Ballots must be submitted by May 12th. View the Douglas County application here.

Other Nebraska Counties

Print off this application and either mail it or email a scan or photo of your completed application to your county election commissionView the application for other counties here.

Iowa

Iowans won’t vote again until November, but you can still request to vote by mail. View directions for how to apply here.

Your thoughts matter. Voicing your concerns to legislators about your community is so important, and it can change the outcome for the people of your state. For more information about Nebraska and Iowa’s legislation activity, visit https://nebraskalegislature.gov/ and https://www.legis.iowa.gov/.

About the Author

Okina is the Marketing Intern at United Way of the Midlands. She’s always ready to go when the marketing and communications team needs help with projects relating to graphic design, social media or writing. Outside of work, she loves to hang out with family and friends, go to the movies or play with her pup Barry.

 

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