Photo by George Lauby
I want to make you aware of Legislative Bill 1058 that proposes that our state enter into a compact agreement with other states and the combined total popular vote of the nation would require Nebraska to cast its five electoral votes for the presidential candidate who won the combined vote, even if he or she didn’t win in Nebraska.
Let me briefly explain this bill. Known as the so-called “National Popular Vote” legislation, the bill may sound good because of the name and even present an initial face value appeal. However, if enacted in our state, this bill could essentially nullify the voice of the Nebraska voters in presidential elections.
Put simply, we do not want our voice invalidated when electing the next President of the United States.
Secretary of State John Gale, our state’s chief election officer, and I are strongly opposed to State Senator Tyson Larson’s LB 1058. Nebraskans want their electoral votes to count, and that won’t occur under the proposed bill. Instead, our votes for President could be mandated to go to the candidate that Nebraska voters did not elect.
For example, in the 2012 presidential election, Nebraskans overwhelmingly voted for Gov. Mitt Romney for President. Under the proposed electoral scheme set forth in LB 1058, our state would have contractually been forced to cast our five electoral votes for President Barack Obama instead of Mitt Romney. That would not have been right or fair to our citizens.
This would have impacted other presidential elections in Nebraska, as well. In 1976, Nebraska would have been required to cast its electoral votes for Gov. Jimmy Carter instead of President Gerald Ford. That same scenario would have happened again in the 1992, 1996, 2000 and 2008 presidential elections.
I have always been proud of Nebraska voters who take their right and responsibility to vote in national elections very seriously. I believe that once Nebraskans are faced with the facts on how this legislation would be detrimental to our voice as a state, they will see that it is a bad idea.
Currently, nine states and the District of Columbia have already agreed to enter into this Interstate Compact. Those states are Massachusetts, California, Illinois, Washington, Maryland, Rhode Island, Vermont, New Jersey and Hawaii.
We do not want these states to determine how Nebraska casts its votes.
The United States of America is built upon the 50 states and the belief in those individual states’ rights. In America, especially in election laws, we respect the right of every state to decide what policies are best for their citizens.
Nebraskans know what’s best for Nebraska. Massachusetts residents know what’s best for their state. But, Massachusetts should not determine what’s best for Nebraska and we shouldn’t decide what’s best for that state, either. LB 1058 is a bad idea and should be rejected by the Nebraska Legislature.