Nebraska

Overview

Nebraska Redistricting Process

Congressional and Legislative

Congressional and legislative maps are enacted by the State Legislature. The Governor can veto the plans.

The non-partisan, unicameral Legislature can override a veto with a three-fifths vote.

Source: Neb. Const. art. III, § 5.


Ballot Measure Process

Kinds of Ballot Measures
Direct initiatives and all referendums are permitted to amend statutes. Direct initiatives are permitted to amend the state constitution. Legislatively initiated ballot measures may amend both statutes and the constitution.

Single-Subject Rule
There is a single-subject rule.

Initiative Subject Restrictions
Initiatives cannot contain anything that the Legislature could not legally enact. Initiatives cannot make changes to the Legislature's right to tax. The same ballot measure may not be placed on the ballot more than once every three years.

Signature Requirements
The signature requirement for constitutional amendments is 10% of all registered voters in the state on the submission deadline, 7% for statutory initiatives, and 5% for veto referendums. Exact numbers cannot be calculated until after all signatures are submitted. As of May 2020, there were 1,216,639 registered voters in Nebraska, so 121,664 signatures would be required for constitutional amendments, and 85,165 signatures would be required for statutory amendments, and 60,832 signatures would be required for referendums. Signatures equal to 5% registered voters of each of two-fifths of the counties of the state must also be collected for initiatives and referendums. If a referendum petition regarding any law other than emergency legislation is signed by at least 10% of registered voters and submitted, the law in question is suspended until it is voted upon. Voter registration information can be found here.

Submission Deadlines
Initiative petitions must be submitted no less than four months prior to the election in which the petition is to appear on the ballot (July 3, 2020; advanced to July 2, 2020 due to the holiday). Referendum petitions must be filed with the Secretary of State within 90 days after the Legislature which passed the law in question adjourns, and at least 30 days before the election at which the referendum is to be placed on the ballot.

Circulation Period
The circulation period for initiative petitions is two years.

Ballot Title and Summary
The ballot title is written by the Attorney General. Expedited reviews for titles and summaries are permitted.

Other Requirements
A fiscal impact statement is not required. Circulators must be at least 18 years of age. Measures must receive both a majority of ballots cast for or against them, and they must receive votes equal to 35% of all votes cast in the election. The Legislature can only amend or repeal an initiative through a two-thirds vote. Referendums cannot target laws making appropriations for the state government or a state institution in existence at the time the law was passed. Initiatives are permitted on general election ballots, but not on primary or special election ballots or odd-year ballots.

Source: Neb. Const. art. III. Neb. Rev. Stat. § 32 (2019). How to Use the Initiative and Referendum Process in Nebraska File

Active Ballot Measures
  • Nebraska Redistricting Reform Petition (2020)
    • Status - Failed to make the ballot
    • Summary - This citizen initiative would have given responsibility for legislative and congressional redistricting to a nine-member redistricting commission. The state legislature would no longer have had the authority to draw legislative and congressional maps. Proponents ceased collecting signatures as of June 24, 2020 because of the constraints associated with the coronavirus pandemic. See their announcement here.


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