1. Learn about the role and responsibilities of the Mayor

The executive and administrative power of the city shall be vested in and exercised by a mayor, who shall also be the ceremonial head of the city government. The mayor shall maintain an office in city hall and shall devote full time to the duties of that office. The mayor shall be elected by the people at large on an at-large, nonpartisan basis and shall serve for a term of four years.

The mayor shall be fully responsible for the proper conduct of the executive and administrative work and affairs of the city. The mayor shall have the power and shall be required to:

  1. Exercise supervision over all departments and agencies of the city government and provide for the coordination of their activities.
  2. Enforce the provisions of this charter, city ordinances, and all applicable laws.
  3. Exercise powers granted to the mayor in this charter, ordinances and applicable laws concerning the appointment and removal of certain officers, employees, and members of boards and commissions.
  4. Submit annually to the council for its consideration a recommended operating budget and capital improvement program and budget.
  5. Exercise supervision over the making of purchases and contracts and personally make or approve all purchases and contracts in excess of fifty thousand dollars ($50,000).
  6. Cause to be prepared, transmitted to the council, and distributed to the public at least an annual report on the activities and accomplishments of the departments and agencies comprising the executive branch.
  7. Promote and encourage improvement of the city government, encourage the commercial and industrial growth of the city, and promote and develop the prosperity and social well-being of its people.
  8. Exercise such other powers and perform such other duties as may be prescribed by this charter, ordinances and resolutions and applicable laws.

The mayor shall be responsible for appointments of officers and employees in the executive branch, but the mayor may delegate to department and division heads the authority to make certain appointments. The mayor shall appoint with council approval the heads of all departments established in this charter, and the mayor may remove, without council approval, the heads of such departments.

The mayor shall have the power to conduct investigations of the operations of affairs relating to the performance of any officer, employee, department or agency of the city in any manner with respect to which the mayor may have authority or responsibility. In conducting investigations the mayor shall have the power to administer oaths, to subpoena witnesses, other than council members, and to compel the production of books and papers pertinent to such investigation. Any person who shall fail to appear in response to subpoena, or shall refuse to answer any questions or produce any books or records pertinent to such investigation, or shall knowingly give false testimony therein, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and shall be subject to such penalties as may be fixed by ordinance, which the council is hereby authorized to pass, and to such other penalties as may be provided by law. (Amendment of May 12, 2020: prior Amendments of May 13, 2008 and August 27, 1962).



2. Discover the City of Lincoln Mayor Election Process

The City of Lincoln uses a strong mayor and city council system. In this form of municipal government, the city council serves as the city’s primary legislative body and the mayor serves as the city’s chief executive.

Candidates for the office of mayor are nominated by filing a statement of candidacy accompanied by a petition signed by at least three hundred registered Lincoln voters attesting to the candidate’s qualification for office and the filing fee of one hundred dollars. Their name can then be placed on the primary ballot. 

In the primary election, candidates are listed on the ballot without any party designation. The names are not arranged alphabetically, but are rotated for each district ballot. 

Voters vote for only one candidate. 

The two candidates for mayor receiving the highest number of votes at the primary are the candidates whose names are then placed on the ballot for the general city election.

A nonpartisan primary like this is different from how we typically think of a primary, where voters select the top candidate from their party to go on to the general election and run against candidates from other parties. 

In this primary, it is strictly the top two vote-getters, so it is possible for them to have the same party affiliation. 

For voters whose candidate was not one of the top two, the general election gives them the opportunity to still be part of voting for the candidate they prefer of those two. 

The City of Lincoln founders developed a very wise system to enable citizens to first have a voice in which candidates are nominated for the primary election, then to have a voice in determining the top two candidates, then finally to determine which candidate is elected. 

Our vote is a precious tool entrusted to us to select a chief executive for the City who will lead for the good of our City. Your vote matters!! 

See the Voting Guide sheet for how to register to vote and request an early vote ballot! 

3. Make a plan to vote - Voting Guide

Primary Election – April 4, 2023

Early Voting Ballot

  • April 3, 2023 – Last day to vote an Early Vote ballot at the Election Office (7am-5pm)
  • You can check to be sure the Election Office received your completed early vote ballot here: https://www.votercheck.necvr.ne.gov


  • April 4, 2023 – Polls open 8am – 8pm. Return completed Early Vote ballot by 8pm!

General Election – May 2, 2023

April 14, 2023 – Deadline to register to vote online, by mail, at the DMV or at a state agency. 

April 21, 2023, 6:00pm – Deadline for in person voter registration at the Election Office. 

Check to be sure your current registration has your current address! If you have moved, please register again. 


  • Register online using the Nebraska Online Voter Registration System.
    • Note the option in the right hand corner to select Spanish
  • Open the Nebraska Voter Registration Form (PDF), complete the form on your computer and print it, or print the form and complete it by hand. Mail to: Election Office, 601 N 46th Street, Lincoln, NE 68503.
  • Contact the Lancaster County Election Commissioner’s Office at 402-441-7311 during regular office hours to request that a voter registration form be mailed to you. Complete and mail back.
  • Pick up a mail-in voter registration form at most post offices, banks, and libraries.
  • Register in person through the state Department of Motor Vehicles when applying for or renewing your driver’s license. Additionally, you can complete an online voter registration through the DMV when you renew or order a duplicate driver’s license.

Questions? Visit https://sos.nebraska.gov/elections/registering-vote

Early Voting Ballot

  • January 3, 2023 – April 21, 2023 – Request an Early Vote ballot to be mailed to you
  • April 17, 2023 – First day to mail out Early Vote ballots and to pick up Early Vote ballots at the Election Office
  • May 1, 2023 – Last day to vote an Early Vote ballot at the Election Office (7am-5pm)


  • May 2, 2023 – Polls open 8am – 8pm. Return completed Early Vote ballot by 8pm!
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