LINCOLN (Omaha World Herald) — Nebraska lawmakers may soon debate a familiar effort to return the state to a winner-take-all system for awarding presidential electors.
The Legislature’s Government, Military and Veterans Affairs Committee voted April 18 to advance Legislative Bill 25 to the floor. State Sen. John Murante of Gretna, the bill’s sponsor, said he will attempt to attach the proposal to another bill so it can still be debated in the waning weeks of the legislative session.
Republican members of the officially nonpartisan Legislature have tried repeatedly to end Nebraska’s system of splitting its three Electoral College votes based upon the winner in each congressional district. Votes on the issue have largely fallen along party lines, with primarily Democrats voting against.
Last year, supporters of a similar bill fell one vote short of the 33 votes needed to break a filibuster and advance the bill. This year, 18 senators are serving their first terms and have never voted on the issue.
Murante said Tuesday that he thinks his bill will have “overwhelming support” on the floor.
Nebraska and Maine are the only two states that do not award all electoral votes to the statewide winner in presidential elections.
Returning to a winner-take-all system has been a priority for the state GOP since Nebraska abandoned that method in 1991.
The Legislature’s nonpartisan status means that senators are elected and serve without regard to party affiliation. However, partisan politics emerge at times, especially when elections are involved.