Nebraska group confident it has signatures to force 2016 vote on reinstating death penalty

Organizers of an effort to reinstate Nebraska's death penalty are confident that they have collected enough signatures to place the issue on the 2016 ballot.

Nebraskans for the Death Penalty is expected to submit signatures to the secretary of state's office on Wednesday, one day before the deadline to challenge the law that state senators approved in May.

The group needs roughly 57,000 valid voter signatures to place the issue on the statewide general election ballot, and double that number to halt the death penalty repeal before the new law goes into effect on Sunday.

The petition drive was heavily financed by Republican Gov. Pete Ricketts and his father, TD Ameritrade founder Joe Ricketts, as well as the conservative, Washington-based Judicial Crisis Network.