Nomination by Petition

Being placed on the ballot by petition gives nonpartisan candidates an opportunity to run for partisan offices in a general election since those candidates are unable to be nominated by a political party during a primary election. Nominations by petition also allow candidates to replace other candidates when a vacancy occurs. Candidates who are nominated by petition will have the words "By Petition" printed beside their name on the ballot to signify how the candidate was nominated.

Offices Eligible for Nomination by Petition Candidates

Partisan Offices

  • A registered voter who was not a candidate in the primary election may have his or her name placed on the general election ballot by filing petitions.

Nonpartisan Offices

  • A candidate who was defeated in the primary election or a 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 and the candidate files for office by petition.
  • A vacancy shall exist for the general election under the following circumstances.
    • The number of candidates for office is less than twice the number of positions to be filled and a person ceases to be a candidate for the office for which he or she filed a candidate filing form in the primary election.
    • No person was nominated for the office in the primary election.
    • One of the candidates who received a certificate of nomination as a result of a primary election is ineligible, disqualified, deceased, or for any other reason unable to assume the office for which he or she was a candidate.

Petitions

  • The potential candidate wishing to petition onto the ballot should contact the official filing office (Secretary of State or Douglas County Election Commission) to obtain petition pages.
  • The potential candidate must submit petition pages and pay his or her filing fee (if required) to the official filing office by September 1 to be placed on the ballot for the general election.
  • Qualified Petition Signers
    • The petition signers must be registered voters of the same political district as the candidate seeking nomination.
  • Required Number of Signatures
    • Partisan Offices
      • If the office is partisan, then the number of signatures needed must be at least 10% of the registered voters entitled to vote for the office.
    • Nonpartisan
      • If the office is not the Board of Regents of the University of Nebraska or a board member of a Class III school district, then the number of signatures required must be at least 10 percent of the total number of registered voters voting for Governor or President of the United States at the immediately preceding general election in the district or political subdivision in which the officer is to be elected, not to exceed 2,000.
      • If the office is the Board of Regents of the University of Nebraska, then the number of signatures required must 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 regent district in which the officer is to be elected, not to exceed 1,000.
      • If the office is a board member of a Class III school district, then the number of signatures required must be at least 20% of the total number of votes cast for the board member receiving the highest number of votes at the immediately preceding general election in the school district.

Signature Verification

If there are sufficient signatures, the Election Commission will notify the candidate that he or she has met the signature requirement to be placed on the ballot. The candidate must file his or her acceptance of the nomination with the Election Commission within five days of receiving notice, otherwise, his or her name will not be printed on the ballot.

Ballot

A candidate who successfully gathers enough petition signatures will have his or her name placed on the ballot with the words "By Petition" printed beside his or her name.