Election Shenanigans Continue in Nebraska

LINCOLN, Neb. (CN) – Last week’s resignation of Nebraska’s lieutenant governor has created chaos on the November state ballot, with a Libertarian candidate claiming the secretary of state broke the law to certify a Republican replacement candidate after the deadline.
     Libertarian gubernatorial hopeful Mark Elworth Jr. sued Nebraska’s secretary of state on Friday, for allowing a post-deadline change to the statewide ballot for the November general elections.
     Elworth sued Secretary of State John A. Gale in Lancaster County Court.
     He claims Gale violated state law by approving the “declination of selection for candidacy” of former Lt. Gov. Lavon Heidemann on Sep. 10.
     State law requires that all candidates be certified to appear on the ballot by Sept. 1, and that “no declination shall be effective after such date,” Elworth says in the complaint.
     Heidemann resigned from office and withdrew as a candidate on Sept. 9.
     The resignation came after Heidemann’s sister obtained a domestic abuse protection order against him after an alleged series of verbal threats and physical assault.
     Heidemann, a Republican who had been chosen as running mate by gubernatorial candidate Pete Ricketts, was replaced on the ticket by Michael Foley that same day.
     Gale, who also is Republican, decided to allow a post-deadline switch the next day, processing the declination by Heidemann and certifying Foley for the ballot.
     Elworth claims, however, that “Gale is under a clear duty to certify Lavon Heidemann as the duly selected Republican candidate for lieutenant governor and place his name on the November 4, 2014 ballot” and that Gale has “failed and refused” to certify the proper candidate on the Republican ticket.
     Elworth seeks a writ of mandamus to compel Gale to follow state statutes as written, and an order to show cause “why [Gale] has or will refuse, under a clear duty, to certify as a candidate and place the name of Lavon Heidemann” on the November ballot.
     Elworth also filed an injunction motion that would block Gale from certifying Michael Foley as the Republication candidate for lieutenant governor, as Foley’s candidacy was submitted nine days after the deadline.

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