State lawmakers overcame a filibuster and a veto to repeal the death penalty.
Now, the issue goes directly to the voters of Nebraska.
A campaign to uphold the Unicameral’s action is forming.
Spokesman Dan Parsons with Nebraskans for Public Safety says it will be stocked with plenty of conservative Republicans.
“As we saw in the legislature, if only Democrats and liberals were in favor of repealing the death penalty, it wouldn’t have been repealed,” Parsons tells Kevin Thomas, host of Drive Time Lincoln on Nebraska Radio Network affiliate KLIN.
Secretary of State John Gale announced Friday that county election authorities had completed their verification of the nearly 169,000 petition signatures submitted by Nebraskans for the Death Penalty. Enough signatures were verified to place the issue on the November 2016 ballot as well as keep repeal of the death penalty (LB 268) from taking effect.
The petition drive needed slightly less than 57,000 signatures to earn a place on the ballot. It needed to gather at least 113,883 valid signatures to keep the repeal from taking effect. More than 143,000 signatures were verified.
More than five percent of registered voters from 85 of the 93 counties were verified. The state constitution requires at least five percent from 38 counties to qualify for the ballot.
Parsons expects many to view the vote in Nebraska as a bellwether for the country.
“Do we as a nation continue to have a system that a lot of people are uncomfortable with and, frankly, a lot of people understand that it isn’t working; not only in Nebraska, but across the country?” Parsons asks.
Parsons acknowledges money will be flowing into Nebraska from across the country to fund both sides of this campaign.
For more on elections, click here for the Secretary of State’s website.
AUDIO: Brent Martin reports [:55]