Nebraska citizens have received some “official warning” mail that advises them not to sign any pro-marijuana or pro-gambling petitions. It is still unclear though who the “officials” that issued this warning are. When you take a closer look at this leaflet, you can notice that “Alliance for the Pure Life,” with the address in Norfolk, stands behind it.
This alliance has no internet address, nor have they filed any requests to the Accountability and Disclosure Commission in Nebraska. The warning is aimed at people who are thinking of signing any petition in favor of “legalizing dangerous marijuana and gambling.” They claim that the petitioners put their personal data in danger this way.
When asked to comment on this issue, the Nebraska senator, who sponsors the petition for marijuana legalization, stated that this was a common intimidation practice when these petitions were in question. He added that people shouldn’t be prevented from using their right to sign petitions.
The petition for legalizing marijuana for medical purposes is one of several active ones at the moment in Nebraska. For example, one of them is related to the property tax cut, and another is about gambling.
An Obvious Misinterpretation of Law
A serious issue found in these leaflets was the claim that petition distributors had to read the whole petition out loud. Otherwise, signers might face some consequences.
Senator rebuffed this claim by saying that the distributors were going to face legal charges unless they read the full content of the petition and not the person who decided to sign it. He added that all the petition distributors were fully aware of this fact and that they took it seriously.
He also stated that this was a blatant misinterpretation of the law to further intimidate potential signers. In the senator’s opinion, those who issued this warning are scared of the fact that petitions like the one for legalizing marijuana get significant attention. He expressed his hope that it was going to pass the vote and be turned into law in 2020.
The secretary of state, Bob Evnen, explained that the only situation that could get a signer in trouble was if they provided other person’s name and address for the petition.
The Stolen Identity Threat
Another false information used in an attempt to stop Nebraskans from signing these petitions says that their names would appear on the internet. This way, the signers would become easy targets for the telemarketing agents.
Senator said that a person had to be a registered voter to be eligible for signing the petition and that the voter registration form contained more personal information than any petition. All of this information is public, and political parties frequently use them. He said that people from all over Nebraska had been sending him photos of these leaflets. He hopes that these are going to represent a valid reason for filing with the AADC.
Nebraska isn’t the only place where this is happening. Similar attempts of intimidation occurred in California. People were scared of identity theft so they wouldn’t sign the petition promoting the pension reform bill.
Senator is certain that this mail packed with false information will not put the success of the pro-marijuana petition at risk. He expects that the distributors will gather the needed number of signatures by spring 2020.