Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Legislation to Alter Electoral Vote Allocation Introduced in Nebraska

Nebraska shifted away from a winner-take-all allocation of electoral college votes for the 1992 cycle and efforts have been continually mounted ever since to return to that method. None of them have been successful, including legislation from the 2021 legislative session that died in committee. 

But that has not stopped another bill from coming forward in 2023. Senator Loren Lippincott (34th, Central City) has become the latest to attempt to tackle the issue following a cycle in which the Cornhusker state again split its electoral college allocation between Democratic and Republican slates. LB 764 strikes all language from current law that references any distinction between at-large and congressional district electors. It further compels electors -- all five of them -- to cast their electoral votes for the presidential and vice presidential candidates with the highest number of votes statewide.

In eight presidential election cycles since the institution of the congressional district allocation, Nebraska electors have split just twice with the second congressional district around Omaha going for the Democratic candidate in 2008 and again in 2020. That frequency has been enough of an issue for similar legislation to have come up now at least six times, but not enough of a problem for the state to move back to a winner-take-all allocation. 

Perhaps 2023 will be different. LB 764 awaits action in the Government, Military and Veterans Affairs Committee.

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