Governor Heineman says he would favor Nebraska changing how it elects those who elect the president.
Heineman says it doesn’t make sense that Nebraska determines the members of its Electoral College delegation based on votes by region rather than by state-wide vote. All but two states approach the Electoral College as a winner-take-all sweepstakes; whichever presidential candidate wins the state gets all of its electoral votes. Nebraska allocates by Congressional district, which allowed President Obama to claim one out of Nebraska’s five electoral votes, because he won the Second Congressional District of Omaha, even though he lost the state in 2008 to Republican John McCain.
Heineman says he favors a change.
“We’ve got a national election in which 48 states are playing by one set of rules and two others are playing by a different set of rules. I don’t think that’s fair,” Heineman says. “I can’t imagine playing a football game where both sides have a different set of rules to determine who wins.”
Heineman, a Republican, says he wants all the states to follow the same rule in allocating its votes to the Electoral College, which casts the deciding votes for United States President. He says if other states would split their Electoral College votes he would favor staying pat. But Heineman is quick to add that he doesn’t see the Democratic Party giving up the windfall it reaps from winner-take-all systems in California and New York, two of the nation’s largest states.
In the Electoral College, each state casts votes equal to the members in its Congressional delegation.