LINCOLN (KPTM) - A controversial amendment could be on the ballot for Nebraska voters this fall.
Thursday, supporters of the Nebraska Civil Rights Initiative turned in petitions with 167 thousand signatures at the Secretary of State's office. That's over 50 thousand more than they needed.
Petition organizers turned over dozens of boxes, filled with voter signatures. Those signatures still must be validated. The controversial initiative would end affirmative action in Nebraska.
"They have spoken and it's time Nebraska voters' voices are heard," said petition organizer Doug Tietz. But getting a vote may not be easy.
Critics of the plan said not only are they against the policy but they said Thursday many of the signatures should not be counted because they were gathered illegally.
"Collected signatures and validated signatures are two very different things," said David Kramer of Nebraskans United.
Nebraskans United is fighting the initiative. Kramer said the initiative will have unintended consequences, that will hurt Nebraska.
The group plans to provide evidence, including videos and photographs, to the Secretary of State.
Nebraskans United claims it shows illegal petition gathering. "We believe that we've gathered probably as good of evidence that has ever been gathered about the tactics used by these paid petitioners," said Kramer.
Initiative supporters said those claims are untrue. Tietz said his group did everything it could to train signature collectors about petition rules.
The Secretary of State's office said it relies on county election officers to verify signatures. That process will begin next week.
County leaders have 40 days to complete the verification.