Two top state officials come out strongly against a bill that would shift the country away from the Electoral College to choose the president of the United States.
Gov. Dave Heineman expressed shock that a bill to make Nebraska part of the National Popular Vote Compact has made it into the discussion of the legislature.
“Well, I’m surprised anybody from Nebraska would push this, because you are putting Nebraska at a disadvantage,” Heineman told reporters during a news conference. “This is a bad idea.”
LB 1058, sponsored by Sen. Tyson Larson of O’Neill, would authorize Nebraska to join the National Popular Vote Compact. Currently, nine states and the District of Columbia have entered the compact. It would require all states in the compact to cast their electoral votes for the candidate who won the presidential popular vote.
Secretary of State John Gale says the Electoral College gives less populous states a real voice that would be silenced if the president is chosen solely on the popular vote.
“The National Popular Vote, in effect, diminishes and almost eliminates state borders on a very significant part of our election process, which is the election of the president of the United States,” Gale stated during the news conference.
Gale also said he sees the move as a break from what the Founding Fathers created in giving a balance of power between heavily-populated states and sparsely-populated states.
Nebraska Radio Network asked Sen. Larson to respond to the criticism. He declined, stating that changes to the bill might be coming.
AUDIO: Brent Martin reports [:45]
AUDIO: Secretary of State John Gale criticizes National Popular Vote. [5:40]