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Postcard says petition signers could be committing felony, secretary of state says it's false

Posted at 10:22 PM, Aug 29, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-29 23:22:13-04

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — Recently some people got a card, and were told that if you sign the petition, your information could be sold to a third party, it could affect you getting hired for a job and you could even be committing a felony.

State senator Adam Morfeld says don't believe the postcards.

"One they're false, two they're not legally correct and then three, they're just a scare tactic,” says Morfeld, who represents a district in north Lincoln.

The postcard sent out to some Nebraskans urges them not to sign petitions because most notably, you could be charged with a felony if you don't read all the ballot language before signing.

Nebraska Secretary of State Bob Evnen says this is just not true, saying it's on the petition circulator to read the language to you.

"If a petition circulator doesn't read all the language on a petition as required by law then it is the petition circulator who will get in trouble for not having done that,” says Evnen.

He said you could be charged if you falsify your signature by posing as somebody else, and that you almost certainly wouldn't even be charged if you sign it as an unregistered voter.

"It's highly, highly unlikely that such a person would be prosecuted, I'm not aware of any investigations, let alone charges or prosecutions for such things,” says Evnen.

As for the other claims, they're not completely false, but possibly misleading. Ballot petitions are public record but could only become public if a request is made.But if you're registered to vote, all that information is already public.

"I'll leave it to other people to judge whether it's misleading or not but we don't put names of petitions signers on the internet,” says Evnen.

Morfeld is helping to lead the medical marijuana petition drive and worries the postcards already did his side damage.

"Anytime people misinform other people about the law and try to scare them, it may change their behavior and that's a big concern,” says Morfeld.

It's unclear who sent this postcard. the group called Alliance for the Pure Life sent it from Norfolk, Nebraska and there's little to no information on them online.