Nebraska State Senator John Murante (R-Gretna) has introduced LB 349, which changes procedures for independent presidential candidates to get on the ballot. Existing law does not permit an independent presidential candidate to begin to circulate a petition until after the May primary, and does not permit primary voters to sign. The bill eliminates the restriction on which registered voters can sign. It also eliminates the restriction on when such a petition may begun to circulate. However, it moves the deadline from the end of August to August 1.
The Secretary of State backs this bill. The current restriction that bars primary voters from signing for an independent presidential candidate causes extra work for the petition-verification process. Also the restriction is irrational, because there is no primary screenout for any other petitions in Nebraska. Petitions to create a new ballot-qualified party, and petitions for independent candidates for other office, have no primary screenout.
If the bill passes, Texas will be the only state that bars primary voters from signing any type of ballot access petition.