Supporters of a higher minimum wage claimed victory last week in their effort to place the issue on the November ballot, but it wasn't easy. 

The effort required at least 300 volunteers, labor unions, statewide advocacy groups and the guidance of two experienced state senators, including one who worked on ballot initiatives before.

The group Nebraskans for Better wages raised more than $721,000, with nearly half coming from an Omaha philanthropist and prominent Democratic donor. 

Critics of the balloting process say the state has created unreasonably steep hurdles for average citizens, and those rules are now being challenged in court. Supporters say the signature requirements strike an appropriate balance.