Court Ruling Could Disrupt Ballot Initiative Plans in Nebraska
By Geoff Roth, Managing Editor Nebraska Public Media
July 6, 2022, 2 p.m. ·
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A court decision Wednesday afternoon could throw a monkey wrench in the attempt to get some initiatives on the November ballot.
Last month, a federal judge ruled that a requirement that initiative petition circulators had to collect signatures from 5 per cent of registered voters in at least 38 counties was likely unconstitutional. The judge ruled the requirement violated the principle of "one person, one vote" and temporarily suspended the requirement.
Wednesday, the 8th Circuit Court of appeals stayed that ruling, meaning the Nebraska Secretary of State can still enforce the multi-county signature requirement.
ACLU of Nebraska, which filed the lawsuit on behalf of Nebraskans for Medical Marijuana, challenging the requirement, says litigation will continue, and it is possible the appeals court stay could be reversed before final approval of ballot initiative petitions.
A spokesperson for Nebraskans for Medical Marijuana says the group is disappointed by this latest development, but the group will continue to try and meet the requirements to get the initiative on the November ballot. The deadline for turning in petitions for ballot initiatives is July 7.
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