Nebraska State Senator Beau McCoy has filed a bill in the Unicameral to change Nebraska’s Electoral Vote apportionment process. His bill would change Nebraska’s divvying up of the votes by Congressional District to the way the rest of the states do theirs (except Maine) — winner take all.
You’ll remember, of course, that President Barack Obama swung the 2nd District’s EV in 2008 — the first time a Dem has done so since the current system went into effect in 1991.
Dems such as State Senator Heath Mello calls the bill “sour grapes”. Well of course he does, because the Dems benefitted by it in the last election.
But, the OWH says that “Republican lawmakers have tried nine times to repeal it. They managed to pass two bills — but then-Gov. Ben Nelson, a Democrat, vetoed both.”
(My his bryl-creamed head keeps rearing itself, does it not?)
So that pretty much ends that argument.
But we received an email last night from a UNL Law Student who sees the politics of it this way:
Assuming that two votes will not decide a presidential election, wouldn’t a concerted effort by the Nebraska GOP to change our electoral laws open the party up to the “assault on democracy/anti-democratic” argument?
Nebraska voters are traditionally conservative but they have also repeatedly shown a streak of independence. The NE GOP already plays kingmaker anytime a new statewide elected office becomes vacant (e.g. Daub being forced out of the Senatorial race so that Johanns could breeze to victory);
I wonder if the combination of the above “anti-democratic” and “kingmaker” arguments could be combined to create some sort of independent populist avenue for Democratic success.
Here was my (late night) response:
If it passes, NE would simply be in line with the rest of the country.
In the mean time, who knows if a Prez race could come down to 1 or 2 EVs? Who would have thought it would have been about some hanging chads in FL?
I think Nebraskans like being mentioned, more than anything else, when the point about splitting votes comes up. Sort of like being the only state with a Unicameral.
(Frankly, what needs to happen is an overhaul of the voting system so that the Primaries aren’t so heavily front loaded. But that’s a whole different animal.)
I’m not sure I feel strongly either way. I’m not sure it would be very bad or good either way. (And ask Hagel and Heineman about kingmakers.)
I really think people would shrug.
So just some food for thought on your freezing cold Friday afternoon.