Nebraska Pro-Death Penalty Group Submitting Signatures Early

27 Aug 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Death penalty group to submit ballot signatures on Wednesday.

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — An organization campaigning to reinstate Nebraska’s death penalty after lawmakers repealed it in May said Wednesday it has collected more than enough signatures to place the issue before voters in 2016 and probably enough to block the repeal from going into effect on Sunday. Nebraskans for the Death Penalty is expected to submit signatures to the secretary of state’s office on Wednesday, one day before the deadline to challenge the law that state senators approved in May.

State Senator Beau McCoy, a co-chair of the petition drive, said, “I believed from the outset the petition drive would be successful, but I didn’t imagine we’d collect this many signatures. The group began collecting signatures June 6, and paid circulators and volunteers spent every day since circulating petitions in all counties across the state.

The 30-19 override vote was largely due to conservative state senators joining forces with more traditional death penalty opponents who have fought unsuccessfully for decades to eliminate the punishment. The group raised a total of more than $652,000 from 40 individual donors and seven groups classified as businesses, political action committees and other entities.

Ricketts and his father, Joe Ricketts, have been reported as the largest individual financial contributors to the campaign, which had raised $652,000 by the end of July, as reported to the Nebraska Accountability and Disclosure Commission. Griffith said that while it looks like the pro-death penalty group got signatures from 10 percent of registered voters, it appears to have failed to attract broad-based financial support because Gov. The petitions will go to Secretary of State John Gale’s office, where they will be counted, separated by county and numbered, and then sent to local officials for verification.

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