Nebraska law makers discuss ending state's split electoral college vote

(Lincoln, NE) -- A legislative bill changing the way the Nebraska divvies up its electoral college votes is being debated by the Nebraska Unicameral this week.

The bill, proposed by Senator Julie Slama, comes just months after democrats touted the blue dot in Omaha.

It’s a debate lawmakers have heard time and again, and there was plenty of opposition about it Wednesday. Thirty years ago Nebraska lawmakers approved the plan we have now, where the state’s electoral votes can be separated based on the presidential results from each congressional district. Repeatedly over the years, lawmakers have tried to change it.

In November, for only the second time in the history of Nebraska presidential elections, the state split up its electoral votes, with many Democrats celebrating. Four of the five votes may have gone to Trump but Biden got one, which was referred to as the blue dot, after winning congressional district two.

Every other state except for Maine is a winner-take-all. Meaning whoever wins the popular vote gets all the state’s electoral votes.

Slama represents district one in southeast Nebraska, and she explained to the government affairs committee why she wants Nebraska to be a winner-take-all. “Outcomes of presidential elections should never be determined by lines drawn by state-level politicians."

But a number of people took issue with the bill. Preston Love Jr. of Omaha said, “Winner take all. What’s changed? It has worked well. What’s broken? What are you fixing?”

The legislature twice voted in the 90′s to make Nebraska winner-take-all, but the governor vetoed it. “The most truly fair way regardless of race, religion is that each voter has a say in every one of the votes,” said Slama.

Opponents of the change say it’s another way to suppress voters. Supporters say that if it’s good enough for 48 states, it should be fine for Nebraska.

(Photo by the Nebraska Unicameral)

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