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State sticks with its Electoral oddity

     Anticipating a tight 2024 presidential race, the Nebraska Legislature debated eliminating its unusual way of assigning electoral votes. Nebraska is one of two states – Maine being the other – that has historically split votes by district.

     This split affected two presidential elections in the past 20 years: with Obama in 2008 and Biden in 2020 turning District 2 into the so-called “blue dot” in an otherwise red state electorally.

     For background, the Electoral College is a staple of American politics. It ultimately decides who represents and leads the people of the United States. 

     Currently electoral votes are based on how many senators and state representatives a state has. 

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     All states but two follow the practice known as “winner take all.” Basically, whichever candidate wins a majority of a state’s ballots, generally either a Republican or a Democrat, receives all of that state’s votes in the Electoral College.  

     In Nebraska and Maine, congressional districts are used to assign votes rather than the “winner-take-all” system of other states. 

     Nebraska has three districts with one electoral vote each. District 3, which is home to most of the state’s rural and agricultural population, consistently votes Republican. The same is mostly true with District 1, which is less rural and includes the state capital, Lincoln. 

     District 2 encompasses all of Omaha and two neighboring counties. In addition to the single electoral vote assigned to each district, whoever wins the state’s overall popular vote wins an additional two electoral votes.

     Because of this unusual system of voting, Nebraska has been seen as a potentially important state in closely contested elections, as a single swing district might be the deciding factor of who takes the presidential seat.

     So one might wonder why some Nebraska lawmakers would want this system eliminated. 

     If Nebraska did remove its current system, it would basically guarantee that any Republican presidential candidate would take all five of the state’s electoral votes.

     Government teacher Ray Keller pointed out that, on the flip side, if all states were to adopt Nebraska’s Congressional\District Method, the hotly contested 2020 election would have in fact been even closer.

     Nonetheless, Nebraska Democrats promote the state’s current system as more representative, giving the state a voice that might otherwise go unheard. 

     The legislative debate ended with no change in Nebraska’s current system – for now. 

This is what the 2020 USA election would look like if everyone voted like Nebraska and Maine.
It would force people running for president to visit nearly every state.
Meaning each state would become a battle ground, as instead of guaranteed wins in states such as California, Texas, Florida and New York, there would be no ultimate winner.
Instead their electoral votes would be divided between their districts.
From this map you also see a lot more representation in every state.
Texas for example has a lot of split districts making all their votes close. So instead of essentially voiding thousands of votes everyone is represented.
(This photo shows a version of the 2020 election votes by electoral district not winner takes all. Credit: 270 To Win.) (Sullivan Bunyan)

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About the Contributor
Sullivan Bunyan
Sullivan Bunyan, Staff Reporter
Hello, my name is Sullivan Bunyan and I'm a Junior this year on Titan Legacy Magazine. I enjoy reading books, playing games and paintball. Among other things I love to ski with friends and others.
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