Nebraska Secretary of State John Gale says they received notice from the pro-gambling group Keep the Money in Nebraska that it has the required number of signatures – approximately 117,000 for a constitutional amendment and 82,000 for each of the two laws to allow casino gambling at racetracks.
A spokesman for the group confirms they will file petitions before the deadline, but could not yet give a count on the number of signatures gathered.
Gale says once those petitions are filed, his staff sorts and sends them off to local election offices which have 40 days to verify the signatures.
“Our county election officials work very, very hard. They know what the importance is. They know what the significance is. They know how to do it,” Gale tells Nebraska Radio Network, “but every one of them usually has to hire temporary workers.”
Gale says counties can request an extra ten days to process petitions, which involves checking signatures and addresses against registration logs.
“There are always people who sign those who aren’t registered voters. There could even be people who are from other states who just voluntarily grab it and sign it,” Gale says. “There may be people who are in the wrong county and they’re supposed to be signing in their own county. So, there are a number that are going to be rejected.”
The verification process should be completed in early September.
It seems Keep the Money in Nebraska is the only group able to file petitions this cycle, even though others began the process.
“They had sponsor forms filed with us and they had received their petition forms, but there hasn’t been any public acknowledgement or any acknowledgement to us [they gathered signatures],” Gale says.