Nebraska voted Tuesday night to reinstate the death penalty, after state lawmakers voted last year to eliminate it.
With more than half of Nebraska’s precincts reporting Tuesday night, more than 60% of voters chose to repeal the earlier legislation that had eliminated the death penalty.
The effort was led by Republican Gov. Pete Ricketts, who vowed to get capital punishment on the ballot, saying voters still supported the practice.
Last year Nebraska became the first conservative state to do away with the death penalty since North Dakota in 1973. After state lawmakers voted to eliminate it, Gov. Ricketts vetoed the bill. Lawmakers, however, overrode him. The governor then led a drive to get the issue on the ballot and even bankrolled the effort.
Prior to the vote, some residents said they were confused by the referendum’s language. A vote for “Retain” meant keeping the legislation passed by the state and eliminating the death penalty while a vote for “Repeal” meant getting rid of the bill and keeping capital punishment.