32-1410. Initiative and referendum petitions; ballot title; statement of effect; Attorney General; duties; appeal.

(1) When an initiative petition is filed with the Secretary of State to propose a measure to the registered voters of the state, the Secretary of State shall transmit a copy of the measure to the Attorney General. Within ten days after receiving the copy, the Attorney General shall provide and return to the Secretary of State a ballot title for such measure. The ballot title shall express the purpose of the measure in not exceeding one hundred words and shall not resemble, so far as to be likely to create confusion, any title previously filed for any measure to be submitted at that election. The Attorney General also shall prepare a statement to be printed in italics immediately preceding the ballot title on the official ballot. Such statement shall in clear and concise language explain the effect of a vote for and against the measure in such language that the statement will not be intentionally an argument or likely to create prejudice, either for or against the measure. The ballot title shall be so worded that those in favor of adopting the measure shall vote For and those opposing the adoption of the measure shall vote Against.

(2) When a referendum petition is filed with the Secretary of State to refer a measure to the registered voters of the state, the Secretary of State shall transmit a copy of the measure to the Attorney General. Within ten days after receiving the copy, the Attorney General shall provide and return to the Secretary of State a ballot title for such measure. The ballot title may be distinct from the legislative title of the measure, shall express the purpose of the measure in not exceeding one hundred words, and shall not resemble, so far as to be likely to create confusion, any title previously filed for any measure to be submitted at that election. The Attorney General also shall prepare a statement to be printed in italics immediately preceding the ballot title on the official ballot. Such statement shall in clear and concise language explain the effect of a vote to retain and a vote to repeal the measure in such language that the statement will not be intentionally an argument or likely to create prejudice, either for retention or for repeal of the measure. The ballot title shall be so worded that those in favor of retaining the measure shall vote Retain and those opposing the measure shall vote Repeal.

(3) Any person who is dissatisfied with the ballot title provided by the Attorney General for any measure may appeal from his or her decision to the district court as provided in section 32-1412. The person shall file a petition asking for a different title and setting forth the reasons why the title prepared by the Attorney General is insufficient or unfair. No appeal shall be allowed from the decision of the Attorney General on a ballot title unless the appeal is taken within ten days after the decision is filed. A copy of every such decision shall be served by the Secretary of State or the clerk of the district court upon the person offering or filing such initiative or referendum petition or appeal. Service of such decision may be by mail or electronic transmission and shall be made forthwith. The district court shall thereupon examine the measure, hear arguments, and in its decision thereon certify to the Secretary of State a ballot title for the measure in accord with the intent of this section by September 1 prior to the statewide general election.

(4) The appeal procedures described in the Administrative Procedure Act shall not apply to this section.

Source:Laws 1994, LB 76, ยง 392.

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