A measure proposing Nebraska revert to the winner-take-all distribution of presidential electors has cleared an important hurdle, yet still faces an uncertain future.
Supporters broke a filibuster without a vote to spare when Sen. Bob Krist of Omaha switched and cast a ballot to end eight hours of debate he called a waste of time.
“Continuing to say, ‘No this is not a partisan issue.’ Everyone knows it’s a partisan issue,” Krist tells reporters.
Though Krist believes the first round of extended debate proved meaningless, he holds out hope an additional four hours might flesh out the pros and cons of LB 10.
Only Nebraska and Maine award presidential electors by Congressional district. Every other state sticks to the winner-take-all formula.
While Maine adopted the Congressional system in 1969, Nebraska has only had it since 1991. It had never made a difference in Nebraska until 2008 when Democrat Barack Obama successfully snatched an electoral vote from Nebraska when he won the Second Congressional District of Omaha though Republican John McCain won the state handily.
Krist says he likely will offer an amendment to the bill, calling for a University of Nebraska study to determine if switching back gets the results supporters claim.
That, of course, would occur only if the bill passes, which is not guaranteed, primarily because Krist won’t guarantee he will vote again to end a second filibuster expected when the bill returns for its second round of debate.
As for the bill sponsor, Sen. Beau McCoy of Omaha, he won’t even concede he’ll face another filibuster.
“Well, I would assume that we’ll have a discussion that’s as robust as it was on General File, but there’s no guarantee of that,” McCoy tells Nebraska Radio Network.
AUDIO: Brent Martin reports [:45]