Nebraska State Constitution Article IV-4

Article IV-4


Election returns; canvass by Legislature; conduct of election contests.

The returns of every election for the officers of the executive department shall be sealed up and transmitted by the returning officers to the Secretary of State, directed to the Speaker of the Legislature, who shall immediately after the organization of the Legislature, and before proceeding to other business, open and publish the same in the presence of a majority of the members of the Legislature. The person having the highest number of votes for each of said offices shall be declared duly elected; but if two or more have an equal and the highest number of votes, the Legislature shall choose one of such persons for said office. The conduct of election contests for any of said offices shall be in such manner as may be prescribed by law.


  • Neb. Const. art. V, sec. 4 (1875);
  • Transferred by Constitutional Convention, 1919-1920, art. IV, sec. 4;
  • Amended 1960, Laws 1959, c. 236, sec. 1, p. 820;
  • Amended 1972, Laws 1971, LB 340, sec. 1.


The 1960 amendment of this section did not purport to be and is not amendatory of the limited original jurisdiction of the Supreme Court. Sorensen v. Swanson, 181 Neb. 205, 147 N.W.2d 620 (1967).

Canvass of returns of election for officers of executive department must be made by the Legislature. State ex rel. Caldwell v. Peterson, 153 Neb. 402, 45 N.W.2d 122 (1950).

Returns of election upon constitutional amendment must be directed to Speaker and votes canvassed by Legislature. State ex rel. Oldham v. Dean, 84 Neb. 344, 121 N.W. 719 (1909).

Joint resolution in contest proceedings requires signature of presiding officer of House and Senate, also the Governor's. In re Contest Proceeding, 31 Neb. 262, 47 N.W. 923 (1891).

Speaker must open and publish returns of general election even though directed by Legislature not to do so. State ex rel. Benton v. Elder, 31 Neb. 169, 47 N.W. 710 (1891).