In a swap, a trio of gambling initiatives have been approved for the ballot for the 2020 general election, while an initiative for medical marijuana has been removed based on rulings from the Nebraska Supreme Court.
Earlier this year, three gambling initiatives were challenged by Secretary of State Bob Evnen based on the single subject rule, and were rejected from the November ballot. A press release from the Secretary of State said the three initiatives were confusing.
“The first initiative states that games of chance would be allowed only at racetracks. Evnen found this to be materially misleading to voters, because the effect of the initiative would be to allow any games of chance also to be conducted on tribal lands whether or not at a racetrack,” the press release stated.
“The third initiative contains provisions for property tax relief, but they would only come into effect if the first initiative expanding gaming was enacted. Evnen found this to be an effort at logrolling, which the Nebraska Supreme Court has repeatedly prohibited,” the press release stated.
Each of the three initiatives received the required number of signatures, which were all verified. On Sept. 10, the Nebraska Supreme Court voted 4-3 to allow the gambling initiatives to be placed on the ballot, ruling they did not violate the single subject rule.
In a reversal, the Nebraska Supreme Court ruled the Medical Marijuana Initiative to be stripped from the ballot as it violated the single subject rule, noting that the provisions would have allowed the use of medical marijuana and authorized the production of it within the state of Nebraska.
“If voters are to intelligently adopt a state policy with regard to medicinal cannabis use, they must first be allowed to decide that issue alone, unencumbered by other subjects,” the court stated in its opinion on the medical marijuana initiative.
Evnen announced he would remove the medical marijuana initiative from the ballot to follow the Nebraska Supreme Court’s decision.
The ballot for the general election was certified by the Secretary of State’s office on Sept. 11. There will be a total of four initiatives on the ballot, including the three concerning games of chance and another addressing payday lending.