City of Seward, NE
Seward County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the City Council of the City of Seward as Ch. 1, Art. 8, of the 1976 Code. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Initiatives and referenda — See Ch. 72, Art. II.
Elected officials — See Ch. 85, Part 1.
[1]
Editor's Note: This article was amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I) to update statutory citations to the Election Act, Neb. RS Chapter 32.
[Amended 1-20-1976 by Ord. No. 1043; 1-17-1978 by Ord. No. 1119; 4-5-2005 by Ord. No. 21-05]
A. 
All municipal 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 municipal offices or issues can reasonably be combined with the nonpartisan ballot and state law does not require otherwise. All municipal elections involving the election of officers shall be held in accordance with the Election Act and in conjunction with the statewide primary or general election. (Neb. RS 32-556)
B. 
When the municipality holds an election in conjunction with the statewide primary or general election, the election shall be held as provided in the Election Act. Any other election held by the municipality shall be held as provided in the Election Act unless otherwise provided by the charter, code, or bylaws of the municipality. (Neb. RS 16-302.01, 32-505, 32-4, 147)[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Original §§ 1-802, Term of office, 1-803, Primary election, number of candidates filing, and 1-805, Tie votes, of the 1976 Code, as amended, which immediately followed this section, were repealed at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).
[Amended 10-20-1981 by Ord. No. 38-81]
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 names of the candidates shall be placed upon the general election ballot in the order of their filing.
(Neb. RS 16-302.01)
[Amended 1-20-1976 by Ord. No. 1043; 1-17-1978 by Ord. No. 1119[1]]
The candidates shall be placed on the general election ballot and 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. The term of office of all such member shall commence on the first regular meeting of December following their election. Any vacancy on the Council resulting from causes other than expiration of the term shall be filled by vote of the remaining members as provided in Chapter 85, Part 1, § 85-1.3, of the Seward Municipal Code. (Neb. RS 16-302.01)
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).
The name of a candidate shall not be printed upon the official ballot for the election of elective officials unless he shall have filed a written application with the County Clerk at least 60 days prior to the primary election requesting that his name be placed upon the official ballot for such election. (Neb. RS 32-601 et seq.)
Prior to the filing of any nomination papers, there shall be paid to the Municipal Treasurer a filing fee which shall amount to 1% of the annual salary for the office for which the candidate will file; provided that there shall be no filing fee for any candidate filing for an office in which a per-diem is paid rather than a salary, or an office for which there is a salary of less than $500 per year. No nominating papers shall be filed until the proper Municipal Treasurer's receipt, showing the payment of the filing fee, shall be presented to the election officer with whom the nomination papers are to be filed. (Neb. RS 32-608)
[Amended 9-18-1984 by Ord. No. 33-84; 10-6-1998 by Ord. No. 30-98]
A. 
Placement of name on general election ballot.
(1) 
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 this section and Neb. RS 32-616(1) or by nomination by political party convention or committee.
(2) 
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 (1) of Neb. RS 32-616(2) and the candidate files for the office by petition as prescribed in this section.
B. 
Number of signatures required.
(1) 
The number of signatures of registered voters needed to place the name of a candidate upon the nonpartisan ballot 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 municipality, not to exceed 2,000.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).
(2) 
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 20% of the total vote for Governor or President of the United States at the immediately preceding general election within the municipality, not to exceed 2,000.
C. 
Petitions for nomination shall conform to the requirements of Neb. RS 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. Petitions shall be signed by registered voters residing in the municipality and shall be filed with the filing officer in the same manner as provided for candidate filing forms in Neb. RS 32-607. Petition signers and circulators shall conform to the requirements of Neb. RS 32-629 and 32-630. No petition for nomination shall be filed unless there is attached thereto a receipt showing payment of the required filing fee. The petitions shall be filed by September 1 in the year of the general election.
(Neb. RS 156, 32-504, 32-535, 32-616 through 32-618)
"Electors" shall mean every person of the constitutionally prescribed age or upwards, who shall have the right to vote for all officers to be elected to public office, and upon all questions and proposals lawfully submitted to the voters at any and all elections authorized or provided for by the Constitution or the laws of the State of Nebraska, except school elections; provided that no person shall be qualified to vote at any election unless such person shall be a resident of the state and shall have been properly registered with the election official of the county. (Neb. RS 17-602, 32-110, 32-115, 32-301 et seq., 32-313)
[Amended 4-7-1981 by Ord. No. 12-81; 7-7-1981 by Ord. No. 27-81; 8-6-1991 by Ord. No. 20-91; 10-16-2001 by Ord. No. 27-01; 8-2-2011 by Ord. No. 14-11]
A. 
The municipality shall redistrict as often as necessary using the most recent Federal Census to ensure that each ward is substantially equal in population. The municipality shall stand divided into the following wards as set forth herein:
(1) 
First Ward: all that portion of the City lying and being situated north of the line drawn along the center of Hillcrest Drive beginning at the center of the intersection of Hillcrest Drive and First Street in the City, and extending east to the Corporate boundary line of said City, and east of a line drawn along the center of First Street and then extending north to the Northern Corporate boundary line of said City.
(2) 
Second Ward: all that portion of the City lying and being situated within the following described boundary line: beginning at a point to where the center line of Moffitt Street intersects the West Corporate Limits, thence east following the center line of Moffitt Street to the center line of Tenth Street, thence north along the center line of Tenth Street to the center line of Lincoln Street, thence east following the center line of Lincoln Street to the center line of Third Street; thence north along the center line of Third Street to the center line of Hillcrest Drive, thence east along the center line of Hillcrest Drive to the center line of First Street, thence north along the center line of First Street extended to a point of intersection with the North Corporate Limit, thence generally west along the North Corporate Limit to a point of intersection with the West Corporate Limit, thence generally south along the West Corporate Limit line to the point of beginning.
(3) 
Third Ward: all that portion of the City lying south of a line beginning on the West Corporate boundary line of the City at a point where the center line of Moffitt Street extended west would intersect with the West Corporate boundary line, thence east along the center line of Moffitt Street to the intersection of Moffitt Street and Tenth Street, thence north along the center line of Tenth Street to the center of the intersection of Tenth Street and Lincoln Street; thence east along the center line of Lincoln Street to the intersection of Lincoln Street and Third Street; thence south along the center line of Third Street to the center line of Seward Street; thence east along the center line of Seward Street extended east to the Corporate boundary line.
(4) 
Fourth Ward: all that portion of the City lying and being situated within the following described boundary line: beginning at a point to where the center line of Hillcrest Drive intersects the East Corporate Limits, thence west along the center line of Hillcrest Drive to the center line of Third Street, thence south along the center line of Third Street to the center line of Seward Street, thence east along the center line of Seward Street and the center line of Seward Street extended to a point of intersection with the East Corporate Limit, thence generally north along the East Corporate Limit line to the point of beginning.
B. 
The establishment of the wards herein provided shall be implemented and become effective with the next election to be held pursuant to § 32-1.1 of this chapter. Each ward shall constitute an election district.
[Amended 10-21-1980 by Ord. No. 31-80[1]]
The Mayor and City Council shall divide the City into not less than three wards, as compact in form and equal in population as possible, the boundaries of which are defined in § 32-1.8 above. Each ward shall constitute an election district; provided that when any ward shall contain greater than 500 legal voters, the Mayor and City Council may divide such ward into two or more election districts. (Neb. RS 16-104)
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).
The County Clerk shall provide printed ballots for every general municipal election, and the expense of printing and delivering the ballots and cards of instruction shall be a charge upon the municipality. (Neb. RS 32-801 et seq., 32-805)[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Original § 1-814 of the 1976 Code, Elections; Certificate of Nomination or Election, as amended, which immediately followed this section, was repealed 4-5-2005 by Ord. No. 21-05.
In any general election, where the person who received the highest number of votes is ineligible, disqualified, deceased, or for any other reason is unable to assume the office for which he was a candidate, and the electorate had reasonable notice of such disability at the time of the election, the candidate in such election who received the next highest number of votes shall be declared elected, and shall be entitled to the certificate of election; provided that any candidate so declared elected received not less than 35% of the total number of votes cast for such office in the election. If any of the qualifications of this section are not met by the candidate to be declared elected, or reasonable notice of the winner's ineligibility is not available to the voters, a vacancy in such office shall be declared to exist at the time of commencement of the term and shall be filled as prescribed by law. (Neb. RS 32-560 through 32-574)
[Amended 9-18-1979 by Ord. No. 1191; 9-18-1984 by Ord. No. 33-84; 8-4-2004 by Ord. No. 18-04]
A. 
For purposes of this section, "filing clerk" means the Election Commissioner or County Clerk. (Neb. RS 32-1301)
B. 
Positions subject to recall.
(1) 
The Mayor, a member of the City Council, and any other elected official of the City may be removed from office by recall pursuant to Neb. RS 32-1301 to 32-1309.
(2) 
The recall procedure and special election provisions of such sections shall apply to members of the City Council who are elected by ward. Only registered voters of such member's ward may sign a recall petition or vote at the recall election. The recall election shall be held within the member's ward. When a member of the City Council is nominated by ward in the primary election and elected at large in the general election, the recall provisions shall apply to the registered voters at the general election. (Neb. RS 32-1302)
C. 
Recall petition.
(1) 
A petition demanding that the question of removing the Mayor, a member of the City Council, or any other elected official of the City be submitted to the registered voters shall be signed by registered voters equal in number to at least 35% of the total vote cast for that office in the last general election, except that for an office for which more than one candidate is chosen, the petition shall be signed by registered voters equal in number to at least 35% of the number of votes cast for the person receiving the most votes for such office in the last general election. The signatures shall be affixed to petition papers and shall be considered part of the petition.
(2) 
Petition circulators shall conform to the requirements of Neb. RS 32-629 and 32-630.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).
(3) 
The petition papers shall be procured from the filing clerk. Prior to the issuance of such petition papers, an affidavit shall be signed and filed with the filing clerk by at least one registered voter. Such voter or voters shall be deemed to be the principal circulator or circulators of the recall petition. The affidavit shall state the name and office of the official sought to be removed, shall include, in typewritten form in concise language of 60 words or less, the reason or reasons for which recall is sought, and shall request that the filing clerk issue initial petition papers to the principal circulator for circulation. The filing clerk shall notify the official sought to be removed by any method specified in Neb. RS 25-505.01 or, if notification cannot be made with reasonable diligence by any of the methods specified in Neb. RS 25-505.01, by leaving a copy of the affidavit at the official's usual place of residence and mailing a copy by first-class mail to the official’s last known address. If the official chooses, he or she may submit a defense statement in typewritten form in concise language of 60 words or less for inclusion on the petition. Any such defense statement shall be submitted to the filing clerk within 20 days after the official receives the copy of the affidavit. The filing clerk shall notify the principal circulator or circulators that the necessary signatures must be gathered within 30 days from the date of issuing the petitions.[2]
[2]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).
(4) 
The filing clerk, upon issuing the initial petition papers or any subsequent petition papers, shall enter in a record, to be kept in his or her office, the name of the principal circulator or circulators to whom the papers were issued, the date of issuance, and the number of papers issued. The filing clerk shall certify on the papers the name of the principal circulator or circulators to whom the papers were issued and the date they were issued. No petition paper shall be accepted as part of the petition unless it bears such certificate. The principal circulator or circulators who check out petitions from the filing clerk may distribute such petitions to persons who may act as circulators of such petitions.
(5) 
Petition signers shall conform to the requirements of Neb. RS 32-629 and 32-630. Each signer of a recall petition shall be a registered voter and qualified by his or her place of residence to vote for the office in question.
(Neb. RS 32-1303)
D. 
Each petition paper shall conform to the requirements of Neb. RS 32-1304.
E. 
Filing of petition papers.
(1) 
The principal circulator or circulators shall file, as one instrument, all petition papers comprising a recall petition for signature verification with the filing clerk within 30 days after the filing clerk issues the initial petition papers to the principal circulator or circulators.
(2) 
Within 15 days after the filing of the petition, the filing clerk shall ascertain whether or not the petition is signed by the requisite number of registered voters. No new signatures may be added after the initial filing of the petition papers. No signatures may be removed unless the filing clerk receives an affidavit signed by the person requesting his or her signature be removed before the petitions are filed with the filing clerk for signature verification. If the petition is found to be sufficient, the filing clerk shall attach to the petition a certificate showing the result of such examination. If the requisite number of signatures has not been gathered, the filing clerk shall file the petition in his or her office without prejudice to the filing of a new petition for the same purpose.
(Neb. RS 32-1305)
F. 
If the recall petition is found to be sufficient, the filing clerk shall notify the official whose removal is sought and the City Council that sufficient signatures have been gathered. The Council shall order an election to be held not less than 30 days nor more than 75 days after the notification of the official whose removal is sought above; except that if any other election is to be held in the City within 90 days after such notification, the Council shall provide for the holding of the recall election on the same day. All resignations shall be tendered as provided in Neb. RS 32-562. If the official whose removal is sought resigns before the recall election is held, the Council may cancel the recall election if the Council notifies the County Clerk of the cancellation at least 16 days prior to the election; otherwise the recall election shall be held as scheduled. (Neb. RS 32-1306)[3]
[3]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).
G. 
The form of the official ballot at a recall election shall conform to the requirements of Neb. RS 32-1307.
H. 
Recall election results and effect.
(1) 
If a majority of the votes cast at a recall election are against the removal of the official named on the ballot or the election results in a tie, the official shall continue in office for the remainder of his or her term but may be subject to further recall attempts as provided in Subsection I of this section.
(2) 
If a majority of the votes cast at a recall election are for the removal of the official named on the ballot, he or she shall, regardless of any technical defects in the recall petition, be deemed removed from office unless a recount is ordered. If the official is deemed removed, the removal shall result in a vacancy in the office which shall be filled as otherwise provided in this section and state law.
(3) 
If the election results show a margin of votes equal to 1% or less between the removal or retention of the official in question, the Secretary of State, Election Commissioner, or County Clerk shall order a recount of the votes cast unless the official named on the ballot files a written statement with the Election Commissioner or County Clerk that he or she does not want a recount.
(4) 
If there are vacancies in the offices of 1/2 or more of the members of the City Council at one time due to the recall of such members, a special election to fill such vacancies shall be conducted as expeditiously as possible by the Secretary of State, Election Commissioner, or County Clerk.[4]
[4]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).
(5) 
No official who is removed at a recall election or who resigns after the initiation of the recall process shall be appointed to fill the vacancy resulting from his or her removal or the removal of any other member of the same governing body during the remainder of his or her term of office.
(Neb. RS 32-1308)
I. 
No recall petition shall be filed against an elected official within 12 months after a recall election has failed to remove him or her from office or within six months after the beginning of his or her term of office or within six months prior to the incumbent filing deadline for the office. (Neb. RS 32-1309, 32-1401 through 32-1408)
[Amended 9-18-1984 by Ord. No. 33-84; 10-7-1997 by Ord. No. 47-97; 8-4-2004 by Ord. No. 18-04]
A. 
Procedure.
(1) 
Except as provided in Neb. RS 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. RS 32-952 through 32-959. Any other special election shall be subject to Subsection B of this section.
(2) 
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.
(3) 
After the Election Commissioner or County Clerk has received the certification of the issue to be submitted, he or she shall be responsible for all matters relating to the submission of the issue to the registered voters, except that 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. 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 canvas 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 County Canvassing Board shall have the same force and effect as if made by the City Council. (Neb. RS 32-559)[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).
B. 
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. RS 32-405, 32-559)
[Amended 9-18-1984 by Ord. No. 33-84]
Any person seeking elected office in the municipality shall be a registered voter prior to holding such office and in addition shall have reached the age of majority.
[Amended 10-1-1985 by Ord. No. 14-85]
No person shall conduct an 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 public place room or, if inside the public place building, within 100 feet of any voting booth. (Neb. RS 32-1525)
[Amended 4-5-2005 by Ord. No. 21-05]
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. RS 32-404)