The Nebraska Republican Party wants to bring the state in line with the other 48 states that award electoral votes in a winner-take-all fashion, instead of splitting the votes up.
Matt Conneally, spokesman for the state Democratic Party, disagrees with the idea. “We are relevant now,” Conneally says. “For the first time in decades, Nebraska actually matters in a presidential election, but I think splitting Nebraska’s electoral college votes is a real benefit for the people of Nebraska and for the process.”
State Republican Party chairman Mark Quandahl says Nebraska needs to use the system that 48 other states are using. “It was done that way in order to give states with a smaller population base, such as Nebraska, a larger vote,” Quandahl says. “With the way Nebraska currently allocates its electoral college votes, it negates any impact.” Quandahl says the party will urge a state senator to introduce a bill next year to repeal the unusual arrangement.
Democrat Conneally says any changes would only help the Republicans. Since there’s a majority of registered Republicans in Nebraska, Conneally says that’s a “driving factor” to make sure the GOP can “lock up” the vote.
Republican Quandahl says that’s just not the case. “That’s silly,” Quandahl says. “There are 48 other states that allocate their electoral college votes the correct way and some of them have Democratic majorities and some of them have Republican majorities. This isn’t a partisan issue. It’s a good government issue.”
Conneally counters that the current system is a welcome change from the status quo. He says, “The process on a nationwide basis has some problems with the electoral college and until we have national reform, the way Nebraska does it does bring an extra added amount of energy and excitement for Nebraska.”
But Quandahl says Nebraska isn’t getting any more attention than it usually does during a presidential race. Quandahl says compares the alleged fascination with Nebraska’s splitting its votes to the sort of attention that’s paid to “a barking dog, a crying baby or even a two-headed calf.”
Thanks to Alisa Nelson, KLIN, Lincoln