A letter to State Senator John Murante regarding winner take all legislation in Nebraska

Dear Senator Murante and staff,
In the past, Senator Murante has been a sponsor of legislation to change how Nebraska allocates our electoral votes. The state can potentially split the electoral votes based on how a Presidential candidate performs in each Congressional district. In the time since Nebraska made this change, the split has only happened once, in 2008 with Barack Obama.
There was talk last session when the legislation died that the Senator would reintroduce the bill in the next session and the next and the next until the legislation passed. The idea seemed to be that the Democratic candidate for President would have a good chance to win Nebraska’s 2nd Congressional District and the electoral vote associated with it.
While the Senator’s district does not cover all of the 2nd Congressional District, there is a number of constituents of his who live there. Many have seen it as a cynical ploy from the Senator on the off chance that he would seek the Congressional seat, some day. It would be tougher for a Republican candidate to win the district if the President was able to carry the district (although, as we know it happened in 2008).
With Nebraska being close to a one party state, many Democrats and moderates increasingly find it frustrating that their voices are not heard in the state. Often times good governace is sacrificed in the effort to help consolidate power by Republicans and keep many from having their voices effectively heard. The political science research suggests that competitive elections have a positive associate with increasing turnout for later elections. This is critical for all states to try to increase voter turnout. Because there are less people in each Congressional District than the state as a whole, many find that their voices matter more for these Presidential elections with the potential split of electoral votes from Congressional Districts. With the brain drain that Omaha has been experiencing for college graduates leaving the state, it is critical that we do whatever we can to help encourage them to stay. Simply allowing the current law on the books is a potential draw for younger adults who hear about the city from many different news outlets across the country. Moving to winner take all electoral system will only exacerbate the issue. Many college graduates want their voices heard.
After Senator Murante voted in favor of repealing the death penalty and subsequently voted against overriding the veto, he cited the overwhelming response from his constituents as to why he changed his mind. I am asking Senator Murante to reconsider his position on changing Nebraska changing our electoral system to winner take all. This will make many people feel that their government is not listening to them, that their votes don’t matter, and will drive even more young people away from Omaha and Nebraska at a time when we need them the most.
Sincerely,
Josiah

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