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Dave Domina and Megan Mikolajczyk Challenge Portion of Nebraska Constitution Relating to Ballot Initiatives


A federal judge in Nebraska ruled in favor of Dave Domina and Megan Mikolajczyk's client, Kent Bernbeck, striking down a portion of Nebraska's Constitution. The ruling will make it much simpler for petitioners to get both initiatives and candidates on the ballot.

Prior to this ruling, in order for a candidate or an initiative to find its way onto the Nebraska ballot, it must receive signatures from a minimum of five percent of registered voters in at least 38 counties. Nebraska's high court ruled the geographic portion of this standard unconstitutional, and will now only require a petitioner to receive a certain percentage of signatures. Required percentages are as follows –

  • Signatures from 7 percent of registered voters in the state to propose new laws
  • Signatures from 10 percent of registered voters for a constitutional amendment
  • Signatures from 5 percent of registered voters to repeal a current law

According to Domina,

"This restriction places greater value on a single signature from one voter in a county with a small population than a single signature from a voter in urban Nebraska. 102 signatures would be 5 percent in Hitchcock County, 393 in Saline, and 16,082 in Douglas County," Domina said in a news release. "The math makes clear the inequality and disproportionality that renders the state constitutional provision invalid."
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