If a law were passed deliberately proclaiming that an elite group of only 16 percent of Nebraskans would be allowed to name the next probable governor and U.S. Senator, one would hope there would be a furious rejection of that.
Yet, that is exactly what happened on May 13.
Nebraska election law allowed a minority within a minority to determine the people most likely to become the next state governor and U.S. Senator.
I have no objection to who won, but how a candidate wins should be every bit as important as whether that candidate wins. Otherwise, how can do we know that these select few will really represent the majority view of their party?
According to the Nebraska Secretary of State’s office, 553,046 Nebraska voters are registered Republicans, which is 48% of all registered voters and 39% of the 1.4 million Nebraskans 18 or over.
At best, about 40% of those registered Republicans voted to determine their nominees for the ballot in November. Because Nebraska election law does not require Republicans to decide a majority winner, the nominee for governor was determined by only 26.48% of those who voted -- nowhere near a majority.
This is 10.5% of registered Republicans and 4.1% of Nebraskans, 18 or over. That means that a mere 57,922 Nebraskans effectively decided who would represent all 1,401,387 Nebraskans, 18 or over. The Attorney General race had similar ratios and so would the Senate race if Osborn had not collapsed as a candidate.
Government policy should be determined by the will of the majority, and that will has been thwarted.
Currently, the will of the majority is being left undetermined. A strong argument could be made that those candidates nominated by less than a majority are illegitimate.
I urge all Nebraskans to contact their State Legislators and demand our flawed system be replaced by election requirements that ensure political parties nominate majority winners, not plurality winners.
By Larry R. Bradley, Omaha, Voter Advocate, The Center Strikes Back