Nebraska Revised Statute 32-801
Official ballot; certifications required.
At least fifty days before any statewide primary or general election, the Secretary of State shall transmit in ballot form to each election commissioner or county clerk a certification of the candidates, offices, and issues that appear on the state ballot. The certification prior to the primary election shall name the office to be filled, the length of the term, the number of candidates to be voted for, the name of each candidate for whom candidate filing forms or petitions have been filed in the office of the Secretary of State and who is entitled to be voted for at such primary election, and the party affiliation or nonpartisan status of each candidate. A separate statement of the city or village of residence of each candidate shall be included with the certification, but the city or village of residence shall not appear on the official ballot. The certification prior to the general election shall name the office to be filled, the length of the term, the number of candidates to be voted for, the name of each candidate who was nominated at the primary election or who filed by petition as shown by the records in the office of the Secretary of State and who is entitled to be voted for at the general election, and the party affiliation or nonpartisan status of each candidate for partisan offices.
- Laws 1994, LB 76, § 222;
- Laws 1997, LB 764, § 72.
The Secretary of State cannot determine the substantive merits of the Legislature’s proposed constitutional amendment. But in a legal sufficiency challenge, he has a duty to reject a proposed amendment as legally defective for failing to satisfy form and procedural requirements. There is no requirement that the proposed amendment be “patently unconstitutional on its face” before the Secretary must act. State ex rel. Loontjer v. Gale, 288 Neb. 973, 853 N.W.2d 494 (2014).
The Secretary of State’s statutory duties to provide the ballot form for the Legislature’s proposed constitutional amendments and to certify its contents, coupled with his duties to supervise elections and decide disputed points of election laws, clearly require him to consider whether a proposed amendment complies with the separate vote provision. Power vested in a governmental body or officer carries with it the implied power to do what is necessary to accomplish an express statutory duty, absent any other law that restrains the implied power. State ex rel. Loontjer v. Gale, 288 Neb. 973, 853 N.W.2d 494 (2014).
The Nebraska Supreme Court has no authority to grant relief where the Legislature has established by statute strict deadlines which must be met in order to guarantee that the state's election process is safeguarded against uncertainty and disruption. Nebraska Republican Party v. Gale, 283 Neb. 596, 812 N.W.2d 273 (2012).
The Secretary of State is required to certify to the counties which issues will be on the ballot at least 50 days before the election. State ex rel. Bellino v. Moore, 254 Neb. 385, 576 N.W.2d 793 (1998).
Unless there is some designation of office on a ballot, the ballot is void, but technical accuracy in the designation is not essential. State ex rel. Valentine v. Griffey, 5 Neb. 161, 31 L.E.2d 890 (1876).