Nebraska’s Democratic candidate for Governor Sen. Bob Krist says a U.S. District Court ruling Thursday overturning a law that made Nebraska the most difficult state in the nation for independent candidates to get elected proves it is unconstitutional.
The law, approved at the end of the session in 2016, required nonpartisan candidates in statewide elections to collect signatures from at least 10 percent of the state’s registered voters. Krist says it was an attempt by the Republican party and Governor Pete Ricketts to silence independent voices.
Krist said,” This is a good thing for Nebraska that people can go out and get a reasonable number of signatures to put themselves on the ballot and run for the offices. I think it is great.”
Krist, a former Republican who initially tried to gain a spot on the ballot as an independent, said the ruling reflects the ‘Nebraska Way’ – nonpartisan, independent thinking that has been the state’s hallmark for generations.
Governor Ricketts campaign countered Senator Krist’s statement saying “Bob Krist is being dishonest. Krist voted for the increased signature requirement, and changed his position to fit his ambition. LB 874 was passed by the Legislature without a single vote in opposition on final reading, Democrat, Republican, or otherwise.”
With the ruling, the state reverts to the old law where the signatures of only 1% of registered voters is needed for non-partisan candidates to get on the ballots.