Nebraska Revised Statute 32-401
Statewide primary election; when held; purposes.
The statewide primary election shall be held on the first Tuesday after the second Monday in May in even-numbered years. The statewide primary election shall be held for the purposes of (1) nominating all candidates to be voted for at the statewide general election except (a) candidates who were unopposed at the primary election and not required to be on the ballot and (b) candidates who petition on the ballot or are nominated by their political party, (2) electing delegates to the county, state, and national political party conventions, if applicable, (3) in each presidential election year, voting on a preference for President of the United States, and (4) electing officers in political subdivisions which hold their general elections at the time of the statewide primary election.
- Laws 1994, LB 76, § 93.
The liberal construction of the primary law required by this section is to further the real will of the electors as distinguished from that of candidates or would-be candidates. State ex rel. Smith v. Marsh, 120 Neb. 287, 232 N.W. 99 (1930), 72 A.L.R. 285 (1930).
The purpose of the primary election law was to provide an easy method by which a person might become a candidate for state office, either on his own initiative, or by petition of a designated number of electors. State ex rel. Maupin v. Amsberry, 104 Neb. 550, 178 N.W. 176 (1920).
Under former law a candidate for nomination as the candidate of a political party must have been a member of the party, and, where two parties had affiliated for the general election, a candidate could affiliate with both and be the candidate of both. State ex rel. Curyea v. Wells, 92 Neb. 337, 138 N.W. 165 (1912), 41 L.R.A.N.S. 1088 (1912).
The closed primary law enacted in 1911 recognized the existence of political parties and attempted to delegate to the members of each party the right to vote at the primary and general elections for the candidates of their own party without interference from the members of any other political party. State ex rel. Nebraska Rep. State C. Com. v. Wait, 92 Neb. 313, 138 N.W. 159 (1912), 43 L.R.A.N.S. 282 (1912).
Under former statute, a person was permitted to be a candidate of more than one political party in the primary election. State ex rel. Sundean v. Junkin, 80 Neb. 1, 113 N.W. 801 (1907).
The method of electing United States Senators in Nebraska was outlined in the opinion. U.S. v. Seymour, 50 F.2d 930 (8th Cir. 1931).