April 5, 2024

Nebraska legislature strikes down Trump-backed voting reforms

The GOP-led legislature of Nebraska has struck down a piece of legislation that would have reformed the state's Electoral College system. 

The Daily Caller reports that the state legislators voted against the proposal on Wednesday.

The final tally was 8-36, meaning that the measure really was not even close to passing.

This has come to the surprise of former President Donald Trump and many other Republicans who have supported the changes.

The details

The Daily Caller explains Nebraska's unusual Electoral College system.

Per the outlet:

Unlike all U.S. states except for Maine, Nebraska allocates three of its presidential electors based on the majority vote in each of its three congressional districts, while the remaining two electors — accounting for its two U.S. senators — are allocated based on the statewide tally.

The system, according to the Lincoln Journal Star, has allowed former President Barack Obama, in 2008, and current President Joe Biden, in 2020, to each pick up an electoral vote, despite the fact that Nebraska is a fairly red state.

State Sen. Julie Slama (R) has introduced a piece of legislation to change this practice. The legislation would change Nebraska's Electoral College system from a split vote system to a winner-take-all system, under which Obama and Biden would have never gotten those electoral votes. This is because, under Slama's proposal, the winner of the statewide election would get all of the state's electoral votes.

Nebraska's legislature, however, has stopped the bill in its tracks.

No "intestinal fortitude"

Both former President Trump and Nebraska Gov. Jim Pillen (R) have come out in support of Nebraska changing to a winner-take-all system. But, thus far, their support, in itself, has not been enough to make it happen.

Slama took to X after her legislation was struck down on Wednesday to blast Nebraska lawmakers for not having the "intestinal fortitude" to change Nebraska's Electoral College system.

"This pretty well sums it up - the 'filibuster-proof' majority doesn’t have the intestinal fortitude to make Nebraska a Winner-Take-All state in an election year. Wild," Slama wrote.

There is some uncertainty about whether or not another winner-take-all proposal will be put before the Nebraska legislature before its current session comes to an end. Some have suggested that it will, but Slama believes that it will not.

What is not immediately clear about all of this is why the Republican-controlled Nebraska legislature insists on keeping an Electoral College system that goes against its own interest.

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