Secretary of State John Gale has thrown his support behind a bill that would change the way Nebraska distributes its electoral votes to a system of winner-take-all.
Nebraska and Maine are the only states that distribute their share of electoral votes by congressional district. All other states are winner-take-all.
“I fully understand that allowing the split of electoral votes by congressional district within a state might have some advantages, but there are serious drawbacks as well,” said Gale during his testimony today to the Government, Military and Veterans Affairs Committee.
Gale said on a national level it doesn’t make sense for states to split electoral votes because ultimately, it can deadlock the election of a president. “The natural result of splintering the nation’s electoral votes would be that no candidate receives the necessary 270 electoral votes to be elected. What happens then? It results in a time-consuming and cumbersome process. The presidential election would be thrown into the U.S. House of Representatives, and that in and of itself could be a long, arduous and divisive effort.”
As far as Nebraska is concerned, Gale said he believed distributing electoral votes in a “winner take all” system actually benefitted smaller states like Nebraska. “Dividing up its electoral votes weakens Nebraska’s opportunity to have any influence or importance with any new administration if it only delivers a few of its total electoral votes to the winning candidate.”
Nebraska has split electoral votes since 1991.
LB382 is sponsored by Senator Charlie Janssen of Fremont.