An investigation is being conducted into suspected improper disposal of early voting materials from the May 12, 2020 primary election in Furnas County. On October 8, 2020, Nebraska State Patrol executed search warrants in the Furnas County Courthouse in Beaver City and the Beaver City home of Furnas County Clerk Kennis McClellan. A few days earlier, a sanitation employee dumped trash from McClellan’s residence. A State Patrol report says the employee observed and photographed what was described as numerous early voter identification election envelopes. Those photographs eventually went to the state Secretary of State’s Office which requested assistance from State Patrol and the Nebraska Attorney General’s Office.
The State Patrol recovered 19 early voter identification election envelopes from a Holdrege landfill. They were from the May 12, 2020 primary election. State Statute requires such materials to be placed in a container and sealed for not less than 22 months. No other voting materials were seized in a search of McClellan’s residence. One “unsealed cardboard box with May 12, 2020 Primary materials” was recovered from a search at the Furnas County Courthouse. The State Patrol’s report did not indicate whether any of the seized materials contained actual election ballots.
In a statement from the Secretary of State’s office, Secretary Bob Evnen said “We don’t have any comment on ongoing investigations. We can assure the voters of Furnas County and across the state that our general election will be fair and secure.” The Nebraska Attorney General’s Office declined to comment. No charges had been filed as of Thursday afternoon.