It appears Nebraska voters will decide the fate of the death penalty.
The Secretary of State’s office has released preliminary totals from county election authorities who have been verifying signatures turned in by Nebraskans for the Death Penalty.
As of Friday afternoon, county officials had verified 65,171 of the nearly 166,000 signatures gathered during the petition drive. The petition drive needed slightly under 57,000 verified signatures, or 5% of the state’s registered voters, to force a vote on the death penalty, repealed by the legislature during the last session.
County officials have reviewed 74,667 signatures so far and have rejected 9,154, or about 12%.
If 10% of the signatures are certified as from registered voters, the repeal of the death penalty will not go into effect.
The Secretary of State’s office has not verified the information provided by the counties.
The Unicameral approved LB 268, first overcoming a filibuster of the measure, then overriding the veto of Gov. Pete Ricketts. Ricketts and other opponents immediately began the petition drive to force the issue to a vote of the people.
Click here for a spread sheet on the verification process so far.