Nebraska Revised Statute 32-1405

Chapter 32


Initiative and referendum petitions; sponsors; filing required; Revisor of Statutes; Secretary of State; duties.

(1) Prior to obtaining any signatures on an initiative or referendum petition, a statement of the object of the petition and the text of the measure shall be filed with the Secretary of State together with a sworn statement containing the names and street addresses of every person, corporation, or association sponsoring the petition.

(2) Upon receipt of the filing, the Secretary of State shall transmit the text of the proposed measure to the Revisor of Statutes. The Revisor of Statutes shall review the proposed measure and suggest changes as to form and draftsmanship. The revisor shall complete the review within ten days after receipt from the Secretary of State. The Secretary of State shall provide the results of the review and suggested changes to the sponsor but shall otherwise keep the proposed measure and the review confidential for five days after receipt of the review by the sponsor. The Secretary of State shall then maintain the proposed measure and the opinion as public information and as a part of the official record of the initiative. The suggested changes may be accepted or rejected by the sponsor.

(3) The Secretary of State shall prepare five camera-ready copies of the petition from the information filed by the sponsor and any changes accepted by the sponsor and shall provide the copies to the sponsor within five business days after receipt of the review required in subsection (2) of this section. The sponsor shall print the petitions to be circulated from the forms provided. Prior to circulation, the sponsor shall file a final blank copy of the petition to be circulated with the Secretary of State.



  • "[S]ponsoring the petition" in the context of subsection (1) of this section means assuming responsibility for the initiative or referendum petition process. Hargesheimer v. Gale, 294 Neb. 123, 881 N.W.2d 589 (2016).

  • Petition was legally insufficient when it omitted a sworn statement of the sponsors and their street addresses. Loontjer v. Robinson, 266 Neb. 902, 670 N.W.2d 301 (2003).

  • Substantial compliance in filing the itemized verified statement of contributions and expenditures is all that is required. State ex rel. Morris v. Marsh, 183 Neb. 521, 162 N.W.2d 262 (1968).

  • Referendum petition against legislative act may be circulated as soon as act is passed. Klosterman v. Marsh, 180 Neb. 506, 143 N.W.2d 744 (1966).

  • The 1939 amendment to this section, which requires that a copy of the form of the petition together with a list of the known sponsors and those contributing funds be filed before the petition is circulated, is valid and mandatory, and the Secretary of State may refuse to file a petition where there has not been compliance with these requirements of this section. State ex rel. Winter v. Swanson, 138 Neb. 597, 294 N.W. 200 (1940).

  • This section, prior to the 1919 amendment, did not apply to a referendum petition and such a petition is sufficient if, at the time it is offered for filing, taking all of the sheets together as a whole, it has a full and correct copy of the measure attached to it. State ex rel. Ayres v. Amsberry, 104 Neb. 273, 177 N.W. 179 (1920), judgment vacated in 104 Neb. 279, 178 N.W. 822 (1920).

  • This section and section 32-705 provide generally for the duties of circulators of initiative and referendum petitions. Barkley v. Pool, 103 Neb. 629, 173 N.W. 600 (1919).

  • Under former law this section did not apply to referendum petitions. Bartling v. Wait, 96 Neb. 532, 148 N.W. 507 (1914).

  • Initiative procedure did not constitute adequate remedy to correct existing inequalities in apportionment of legislative districts. League of Nebraska Municipalities v. Marsh, 209 F.Supp. 189 (D. Neb. 1962).