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When it comes to launching a recall of public officials, there are numerous state statutes that must be followed.
Petitions are considered public records.
The petition circulators must be at least 18 years old, personally witness the signatures on the petition, and sign the circulator's affidavit. The principal circulator or circulators who check out petitions from the filing clerk may distribute such petitions to persons who may act as circulators of such petitions. No one circulating the petition paper in an attempt to gather signatures shall sign the circulator's affidavit unless each person who signed the petition paper did so in the presence of the circulator.
Signing A Petition
Those signing a petition must be a registered voter of the State of Nebraska and a registered voter of that precinct, district or subdistrict being recalled. Each person who signs a petition shall, at the time of and in addition to signing, personally affix the date, print his or her last name and first name in full, and affix his or her date of birth and address, including the street and number or a designation of a rural route or voting precinct and the city or village or a post office address. A person signing a petition may use his or her initials in place of his or her first name if such person is registered to vote under such initials. No person shall sign any name other than his or her own or knowingly sign his or her name more than once for the same petition. No person shall accept money or anything of value for signing a petition. No signer shall use ditto marks as a means of personally affixing the date or address to any petition. A wife shall not use her husband's first name when she signs a petition but shall personally affix her first name and her last name by marriage or her surname. Any signature using ditto marks as a means of personally affixing the date or address of any petition or any signature using a spouse's first name instead of his or her own shall be invalid.
Statement Of Defense
After receiving official notification, elected officials have 20 days to submit a statement of defense. Then the clerk's office has 20 days to prepare recall petitions.
Circulators will have 30 days to gather the necessary valid signatures (35 percent of the votes cast for that office in the last general election; except that for an office for which more than one candidate is chosen, the petition shall be signed by registered voters equal in number to at least thirty-five percent of the number of votes cast for the person receiving the most votes for such office in the last general election).
The county clerk will then have 15 days to verify the petitions. No new signatures may be added after the initial filing of the petition papers. No signatures may be removed unless the filing clerk receives an affidavit signed by the person requesting his or her signature be removed before the petitions are filed with the filing clerk for signature verification. If the petition is found to be sufficient, the filing clerk shall attach to the petition a certificate showing the result of such examination.
If petitioners are successful, the governing body must order an election within 30 to 75 days. The recall election ballot, with respect to each person whose removal is sought, the question shall be submitted: Shall (name of person) be removed from the office of (name of office)? Immediately following each such question there shall be printed on the ballot the two responses: Yes and No. Next to each response shall be placed a square or oval in which the registered voters may vote for one of the responses by making a cross or other clear, identifiable mark. The name of the official which shall appear on the ballot shall be the name of the official that appeared on the ballot of the previous general election that included his or her name.
If a majority of the votes cast at a recall election are against the removal of the official, the official shall continue in office for the remainder of his or her term, but may be subject to further recall attempts. If a majority of the votes cast at a recall election are for the removal of the official, he or she shall be deemed removed from office unless a recount is ordered. If there are vacancies in the offices of one-half or more of the members of any governing body at one time due to the recall of such members, a special election to fill such vacancies shall be conducted as expeditiously as possible by the Secretary of State, election commissioner, or county clerk.