Nebraska Revised Statute 32-554

Chapter 32 Section 554

32-554.

Village, county, school district, or certain cities; elections at large or by district or ward; procedure.

(1)(a) Any city not under a home rule charter, village, county, or school district nominating and electing members to its governing board at large may, either by majority vote of the governing body or by petition of registered voters pursuant to subsection (2) of this section, submit, at a general election, the question of nominating and electing members to its governing board by district or ward.

(b) Any city not under a home rule charter, village, county having not more than four hundred thousand inhabitants as determined by the most recent federal decennial census, or school district nominating and electing members to its governing board by district or ward may, either by majority vote of the governing body or by petition of registered voters pursuant to subsection (2) of this section, submit, at a general election, the question of nominating and electing members to its governing board at large.

(c) Any city of the first class, except a city having adopted the commissioner or city manager plan of government, nominating and electing members to its governing body by ward may, either by ordinance by majority vote of the governing body or by petition of registered voters pursuant to subsection (2) of this section, submit, at a general election, the question of nominating and electing some of the members to its governing body by ward and some at large. No more than four members of the city council may be elected on an at-large basis, and at least four members of the city council shall be elected by ward. The ordinance of the governing body or petition shall specify the number of at-large members to be elected. At the first election in which one or more at-large members are to be elected to the city council, the members shall be elected to serve for initial terms of office of the following lengths: (i) If one at-large member is to be elected, he or she shall serve for a four-year term; (ii) if two at-large members are to be elected, the candidate receiving the highest number of votes shall be elected to serve for a four-year term and the other elected member shall be elected to serve for a two-year term; (iii) if three at-large members are to be elected, the two candidates receiving the highest number of votes shall be elected to serve for four-year terms and the other elected member shall be elected to serve for a two-year term; and (iv) if four at-large members are to be elected, the two candidates receiving the highest number of votes shall be elected to serve for four-year terms and the other elected members shall be elected to serve for two-year terms. Following the initial term of office, all at-large council members shall be elected to serve for four-year terms. No candidate may file as both an at-large candidate and a candidate by ward at the same election.

(2) Petitions for submission of the question shall be signed by registered voters of the city, village, county, or school district desiring to change the procedures for electing the governing board of the city, village, county, or school district. The petition or petitions shall be signed by registered voters equal in number to twenty-five percent of the votes cast for the person receiving the highest number of votes in the city, village, county, or school district at the preceding general election for electing the last member or members to its governing board. Each sheet of the petition shall have printed the full and correct copy of the question as it will appear on the official ballot. The petitions shall be filed with the county clerk or election commissioner not less than seventy days prior to the date of the general election, and no signatures shall be added or removed from the petitions after they have been so filed. Petitions shall be verified as provided in section 32-631. If the petition or petitions are found to contain the required number of valid signatures, the county clerk or election commissioner shall place the question on a separate ballot to be issued to the registered voters of the city, village, county, or school district entitled to vote on the question.

(3)(a) Any city, village, county, or school district voting to change from nominating and electing the members of its governing board by district or ward to nominating and electing some or all of such members at large shall notify the public and instruct the filing officer to accept the appropriate filings on an at-large basis. Candidates to be elected at large shall be nominated and elected on an at-large basis at the next primary and general election following submission of the question.

(b) Any city, village, county, or school district voting to change from nominating and electing the members of its governing board at large to nominating and electing by district or ward shall notify the public and instruct the filing officer to accept all filings by district or ward. Candidates shall be nominated and elected by district or ward at the next primary and general election following submission of the question. When district or ward elections have been approved by the majority of the electorate, the governing board of any city, village, county, or school district approving such question shall establish districts substantially equal in population as determined by the most recent federal decennial census except as provided in subsection (2) of section 32-553.

(4) Except as provided in section 14-201, each city not under a home rule charter, village, county, and school district which votes to nominate and elect members to its governing board by district or ward shall establish districts or wards so that approximately one-half of the members of its governing board may be nominated and elected from districts or wards at each election. Districts or wards shall be created not later than October 1 in the year following the general election at which the question was voted upon. If the governing board fails to draw district boundaries by October 1, the procedures set forth in section 32-555 shall be followed.

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