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Article 7 - Elections

Article 7 – Elections

SECTION 1-701:  ELECTIONS GENERALLY

SECTION 1-702:  CERTIFICATIONS REQUIRED

SECTION 1-703:  CITY COUNCIL

SECTION 1-704:  CANDIDATE QUALIFICATIONS

SECTION 1-705:  PETITION CANDIDATES

SECTION 1-706:  CAUCUS CANDIDATES

SECTION 1-707:  WRITE-IN CANDIDATES

SECTION 1-708:  FILING FORMS; OFFICER

SECTION 1-709:  FILING FEE

SECTION 1-710:  CERTIFICATE OF NOMINATION OR ELECTION

SECTION 1-711:  BALLOTS

SECTION 1-712:  PRIMARY OR GENERAL ELECTION NOTICE

SECTION 1-713:  PRIMARY ELECTION; NUMBER OF CANDIDATES FILING

SECTION 1-714:  GENERAL ELECTION; PREPARATION OF BALLOT

SECTION 1-715:  EXIT POLLS

SECTION 1-716:  RECOUNT OF BALLOTS

SECTION 1-717:  SPECIAL ELECTION

SECTION 1-718:  RECALL PROCEDURE

 

 

 

 

SECTION 1-701:  ELECTIONS GENERALLY

    A. The city primary and general election shall be held in accord­ance with the provisions of Neb. Rev. Stat. Chapter 32.  Said elections shall be held in conjunction with the state primary and general election.  The county clerk shall have charge of the election and shall have the authority to deputize the city clerk for city election purposes.  Commencing with the statewide primary election in 1976 and every two years there­after, those candidates for mayor and for positions on the City Council whose terms will be expiring shall be nominated at the statewide primary election and elected at the statewide general election.

 

    B. All city issues and offices shall be combined on the statewide primary and general election ballots whenever possible.  The issuance of separate ballots shall be avoided in a statewide election if city offices or issues can reasonably be combined with the nonpartisan ballot and state law does not require otherwise.  Any other election held by the city shall be held as provided in the Election Act unless otherwise provided by the charter, code, or bylaws of the city.  (Neb. Rev. Stat. §§32-404, 32-533, 32-556)

 

SECTION 1-702:  CERTIFICATIONS REQUIRED

 

    No later than January 5 of each even-numbered year, the City Council shall certify to the election commissioner or the county clerk, on forms prescribed by such official, the name of the city, the number of officers to be elected, the length of the terms of office, the vacancies to be filled by election and length of remaining term, and the number of votes to be cast by a registered voter for each office. (Neb. Rev. Stat. §32-404)

 

SECTION 1-703:  CITY COUNCIL

 

    City Council members shall be elected from the city at large unless the residents of the city have voted to elect its council members by wards.  Council members shall serve for terms of four years, until their successors are elected and have qualified, and shall be residents and qualified electors.  “Elector” as used in this article shall mean a citizen of the United States whose residence is within the state and who is at least 18 years of age or is 17 years of age and will attain the age of 18 years on or before the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November of the then current calendar year.  (Neb. Rev. Stat. §§32-110, 32-533, 32-602)

 

SECTION 1-704:  CANDIDATE QUALIFICATIONS

 

    Any person seeking elected office in the city shall be a registered voter prior to holding such office and shall not hold any other public elective public office. (Neb. Rev. Stat. §17-103)

 

SECTION 1-705:  PETITION CANDIDATES

 

    A. Any registered voter who was not a candidate in the primary election may have his or her name placed on the general election ballot for a partisan office by filing petitions as prescribed in Neb. Rev. Stat. §§32-617 to 32-621, or by nomination by political party convention or committee pursuant to Neb. Rev. Stat. §§32-627 or 32-710.

 

    B. Any candidate who was defeated in the primary election and any registered voter who was not a candidate in the primary election may have his or her name placed on the general election ballot if a vacancy exists on the ballot under subsection (2) of Neb. Rev. Stat. §32-625 and the candidate files for the office by petition as prescribed herein.

 

    C. Petitions for nomination of candidates for City Council shall conform to the requirements of Neb. Rev. Stat. §32-628.  Petitions shall state the office to be filled and the name and address of the candidate.  Petitions for partisan office shall also indicate the party affiliation of the candidate.  A sample copy of the petition shall be filed with the filing officer prior to circulation.  Petitions shall be signed by registered voters residing in the city and shall be filed with the filing officer in the same man­ner as provided for candidate filing forms in Neb. Rev. Stat. §32-607.  Petition signers and petition circulators shall conform to the requirements of Neb. Rev. Stat. §§32-629 and 32-630.  No petition for nomination shall be filed unless there is attached thereto a receipt showing the payment of the filing fee required.  Such petitions shall be filed by September 1 in the year of the general election.

 

    D. The number of signatures of registered voters needed to place the name of a nonpartisan candidate upon the ballot for a city office for the general election shall be at least 10% of the total number of registered voters voting for governor or president of the United States at the immediately preceding general election in the city, not to exceed 2,000.  The number of signatures of registered voters needed to place the name of a candidate upon the partisan ballot for the general election shall be at least 10% of the registered voters entitled to vote for the office.

 

    E. The filing officer shall verify the signatures according to Neb. Rev. Stat. §32-631.  Within three days after the signatures on a petition for nomination have been verified pursuant to such section and the filing officer has determined that pur­suant to Neb. Rev. Stat. §32-618 a sufficient number of registered voters signed the petitions, the filing officer shall notify the candidate so nominated by registered or cer­tified mail and the candidate shall, within five days after the date of receiving such notification, file with such officer his or her acceptance of the nomination or his or her name will not be printed on the ballot.

 

    F. A candidate placed on the ballot by petition shall be termed a candidate by petition. The words “By Petition” shall be printed upon the ballot after the name of each candidate by petition.  (Neb. Rev. Stat. §§32-616, 32-617, 32-618)

 

SECTION 1-706:  CAUCUS CANDIDATES

 

    A. The City Council may by ordinance call a caucus for the purpose of nominating candidates for offices to be filled in the city election.  Such caucus shall be held at least ten days prior to the filing deadline for such election.  Notice of such caucus must be published at least once in each of two consecutive weeks prior to said caucus in a newspaper of general circulation in the city.

 

    B. The chairman of the caucus at which candidates are nominated shall notify in writing the city clerk of the candidates so nominated, not later than two days following the caucus.  The city clerk shall then notify the persons so nominated of their nomination, such notification to take place not later than five days after such caucus.  No candidate so nominated shall have his or her name placed upon the ballot unless, not more than ten days after the holding of such caucus, he or she files with the city clerk a written statement accepting the nomination of the caucus and pays the filing fee, if any, for the office for which he or she was nominated.

 

    C. The provisions of Neb. Rev. Stat. §§17-601.01 and 17-601.02 shall not preclude in any manner any person from filing for the offices to which such sections are applicable, either by direct filing or by petition.  (Neb. Rev. Stat. §§17-601.01 through 17-601.03)

 

SECTION 1-707:  WRITE-IN CANDIDATES

 

    Any candidate engaged in or pursuing a write-in campaign shall file a notarized affidavit of his or her intent, together with the receipt for any filing fee, with the filing officer as provided in Neb. Rev. Stat. §32-608 no later than ten days prior to the election.  Any registered voter who was not a candidate in the primary election and who was not registered to vote with a party affiliation on or after March 1 and before the general election in the calendar year of the general election may have his or her name placed on the general election ballot for a partisan office by filing petitions as prescribed in Neb. Rev. Stat. §§32-617 to 32-621 or by nomination by political party convention or committee pursuant to Neb. Rev. Stat. §§32-627 or 32-710.  A candidate who has been defeated as a candidate in the primary election or defeated as a write-in candidate in the primary election shall not be eligible as a write-in candidate for the same office in the general election unless a vacancy on the ballot exists pursuant to Neb. Rev. Stat. §32-625(2), and the candidate files for the office by petition as prescribed in Neb. Rev. Stat. §§32-617 and 32-618 and files as a write-in candidate or is nominated by political party convention or committee as prescribed herein.  A candidate who files a notarized affidavit shall be entitled to all write-in votes for the candidate even if only the last name of the candidate has been written if such last name is reasonably close to the proper spelling.  (Neb. Rev. Stat. §§32-­615, 32-616)

 

SECTION 1-708:  FILING FORMS; OFFICER

 

    Any candidate may place his or her name on the primary election ballot by filing a candidate filing form prescribed by the secretary of state as provided in Neb. Rev. Stat. §32-607.  If a candidate is an incumbent of any elective office, the filing period for filing the candidate filing form shall be between December 1 and February 15 prior to the date of the primary election.  No incumbent who resigns from elective office prior to the expiration of his or her term shall file for any office after February 15 of that election year.  All other candidates shall file for office between December 1 and March 1 prior to the date of the primary election.  Candidate filing forms shall be filed in the office of the election commissioner or county clerk.  (Neb. Rev. Stat. §§32-­606, 32-607)

 

SECTION 1-709:  FILING FEE

 

    A. Except as provided in subsection (C) or (D) of this section, a filing fee shall be paid to the city treasurer by or on behalf of each candidate prior to filing for of­fice.  The fee shall be a sum equal to 1% of the annual salary as of November 30 of the year preceding the election for the office for which the candidate files and shall be placed in the general fund of the city.  No candidate filing forms shall be filed until the proper receipt showing payment of such filing fee is presented to the filing officer.  On the day of the filing deadline, the city treasurer's office shall remain open to receive filing fees until the hour of the filing deadline.

 

    B. All declared write-in candidates shall pay the filing fees that are required for the office at the time that they present the write-in affidavit to the filing officer.  Any undeclared write-in candidate who is nominated or elected by write-in votes shall pay the filing fee required for the office within 10 days after the canvass of votes by the Canvassing Board and shall file the receipt with the person issuing the certificate of nomination or the certificate of election prior to the certificate being issued.

 

    C. No filing fee shall be required on any candidate filing for an office in which a per diem is paid rather than a salary or for which there is a salary of less than $500.00 per year.

 

    D. No filing fee shall be required of any candidate completing an affidavit re­questing to file for elective office in forma pauperis.  The definition of “pauper” and requirements regarding income and assets shall be as provided in Neb. Rev. Stat. §32-608.

 

    E. If any candidate dies prior to an election, the spouse of the candidate may file a claim for refund of the filing fee with the City Council prior to the date of the election.  Upon approval of the claim by the board, the filing fee shall be re­funded.  (Neb. Rev. Stat. §32-608)

 

SECTION 1-710:  CERTIFICATE OF NOMINATION OR ELECTION

 

    The election commissioner or county clerk shall, within 40 days after the election, prepare, sign, and deliver a certificate of nomination or a cer­tificate of election to each person whom the Canvassing Board has declared to have received the highest vote for each city office.  No person shall be issued a certificate of nomination as a candidate of a political party unless such person has received a number of votes at least equal to 5 percent of the total ballots cast at the primary election by registered voters affiliated with that political party in the district which the office for which he or she is a candidate serves.  (Neb. Rev. Stat. §§32-558, 32-1033)

 

SECTION 1-711:  BALLOTS

 

    It shall be the duty of the county clerk to provide printed ballots for every general city election, and the expense of printing and delivering the ballots and cards of instruction shall be a charge upon the city.  (Neb. Rev. Stat. §§32-805, 32-1202)

 

SECTION 1-712:  PRIMARY OR GENERAL ELECTION NOTICE

 

    The county clerk shall publish in a newspaper designated by the County Board the no­tice of the election no fewer than 40 days prior to the primary or general election.  This no­tice will serve the notice requirement for all city elections which are held in conjunction with the county.  (Neb. Rev. Stat. §32-802)

 

SECTION 1-713:  PRIMARY ELECTION; NUMBER OF CANDIDATES FILING

 

    If the number of candidates properly filed for nomination at the pri­mary election does not exceed two for each va­cancy to be filled, all candidates properly filed shall be considered nominated and no primary elec­tion for their nomination shall be required.

 

SECTION 1-714:  GENERAL ELECTION; PREPARATION OF BALLOT

 

    A. When more than one person becomes a candidate by filing, petition, or write-in procedures for the same position in the primary, the county clerk, in preparing the official ballot for the general election, shall place thereon the names of the persons who received the greatest num­ber of votes in the primary but in no event shall the names on the general election ballot be more than twice the number of vacancies to be filled at the general election.

 

    B. The county clerk shall place the names of the candidates on the general election ballot in the direct order according to the number of votes received at the primary election. If no primary elec­tion was held, the name of the candidates shall be placed upon the general election ballot in the order of their filing.  The candidates receiving the greatest num­ber of votes shall be elected to terms of the longest duration, and those receiving the next greatest num­ber of votes shall be elected to the remaining term or terms.

 

SECTION 1-715:  EXIT POLLS

 

    No person shall conduct any exit poll, public opinion poll, or any other interview with voters on Election Day seeking to determine voter preference within 20 feet of the entrance of any polling place room or, if inside the polling place building, within 100 feet of any voting booth.  (Neb. Rev. Stat. §32-1525)

 

SECTION 1-716:  RECOUNT OF BALLOTS

 

    The losing candidate for any office at the city election may request a recount of the ballots cast when the official canvass of such votes cast reveals that there is a difference of 25 votes or fewer between the total cast for the winner and the loser.  Such recount shall be made if the losing candidate files a written request therefor with the city clerk within three days following the completion of the official canvass.  (Neb. Rev. Stat. §§19-3042 through 19-3050)

 

SECTION 1-717:  SPECIAL ELECTION

 

    A. Except as provided in Neb. Rev. Stat. §77-3444, any issue to be submitted to the registered voters at a special election by the city shall be certified by the city clerk to the election commissioner or county clerk at least 50 days prior to the election.  A special election may be held by mail as provided in Neb. Rev. Stat. §§32-952 to 32-959.  Any other special election under this section shall be subject to Neb. Rev. Stat. §32-405.

 

    B. In lieu of submitting the issue at a special election, the city may submit the issue at a statewide primary or general election or at any scheduled county election, except that no such issue shall be submitted at a statewide election or scheduled county election unless the issue to be submitted has been certified by the city clerk to the election commissioner or county clerk by March 1 for the primary election and by September 1 for the general election.  The city clerk shall be responsible for the publication or posting of any required special notice of the submission of such issue other than the notice required to be given of the statewide election issues.

 

    C. The election commissioner or county clerk shall prepare the ballots and issue ballots for early voting and shall also conduct the submission of the issue, including the receiving and counting of ballots on the issue.  The election returns shall be made to the election commissioner or county clerk.  The ballots shall be counted and canvassed at the same time and in the same manner as the other ballots.  Upon completion of the canvass of the vote by the County Canvassing Board, the election commissioner or county clerk shall certify the election results to the City Council.  The canvass by the Canvassing Board shall have the same force and effect as if made by the council.

 

    D. Any special election under the Election Act shall be held on the first Tuesday following the second Monday of the selected month unless otherwise specifically provided.  No special election shall be held under the Election Act in April, May, June, October, November, or December of an even-numbered year unless it is held in conjunction with the statewide primary or general election.  (Neb. Rev. Stat. §§32-405, 32-559) (Am. Ord. No. 04-01, 5/25/04)

 

SECTION 1-718:  RECALL PROCEDURE

 

    Any or all of the elected officials of the city may be removed from office by recall pursuant to Neb. Rev. Stat. §§32-1301 to 32-1309.  (Am. Ord. No. 03-08, 5/13/03)