LINCOLN – Two additional petition initiatives tied to casino gambling at horse racing venues, will not appear on the general election ballot. Secretary of State John Gale says the number of signatures collected for each initiative did not reach the required threshold of 80,032.
“Not only did the number of raw or unverified signatures not reach the threshold, but once the signature verification process was completed, a sizable number of signatures were rejected for various reasons,” explained Gale.
The number of signatures turned in for the petition related to the regulation of games of chance was 73,617. Of those signatures, 51,993 were accepted during the verification process by county election officials. For the taxation petition, 78,157 signatures were turned in for verification. Of those, 54,854 signatures were accepted.
The minimum number of signatures required by the state constitution to place those statutory initiatives on the ballot was seven percent of the number of registered voters (1,171,877) when petitions were turned in on July 7.
Signatures collected to place a proposed constitutional amendment on the ballot in November also fell short of the required verified threshold.
“As in the verification process for the constitutional amendment, the greatest number of rejected signatures fell into a couple major categories,” observed Gale. “A preliminary analysis found that the majority of signatures were denied because they came from individuals who were not registered voters. The second largest category of rejected signatures was due to people signing petition sheets more than once. Only one signature is counted per petition.”
Despite failing to obtain enough signatures overall, verified signatures were collected from five percent of voters in more than 38 of the state’s 93 counties, meeting that distribution requirement.