May 17, 2024

Maine, Nebraska Ready to Dump How They Award Electoral Votes

The solely two states that apportion Electoral College votes in presidential races by congressional district are poised to scrap what makes them distinctive. 

In these methods, presidential candidates get one electoral vote for every congressional district they win within the state. Unlike in different states, the Democratic, Republican, and different social gathering candidates may find yourself splitting a state’s electoral votes amongst them.

The often blue Maine and customarily crimson Nebraska every had one battleground congressional district that may typically draw presidential candidates.

But the Maine legislature moved to give its electoral votes to the winner of the nationwide widespread vote—no matter who carries the state. 

Nebraska lawmakers are contemplating changing into like 48 different states with winner-take-all elections, which means the candidate who captures nearly all of the state’s widespread vote takes all the state’s electoral votes. Nebraska’s change—if adopted—would have an effect on the 2024 presidential election, whereas the Maine change seemingly wouldn’t.

Last week, Maine Democratic Gov. Janet Mill announced she would let a invoice making Maine the 18th state to be part of the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact change into regulation with out her signature after it narrowly handed the state legislature. 

Under the multistate compact, Maine agrees to give its 4 electoral votes to whichever presidential candidate wins the nationwide widespread vote. The states that make up the compact to this point symbolize a mixed 209 electoral votes. Those votes will solely activate when the compact reaches the required 270 electoral votes wanted to elect a president. 

Meanwhile, Nebraska’s Republican Gov. Jim Pillen is contemplating calling a particular session of the state legislature, which already adjourned on April 18, to undertake a winner-take-all system for the state’s 5 electoral votes. 

Pillen said he would solely name a particular session “when there is sufficient support in the Legislature to pass it.”

Maine enacted its rule to divide its electoral votes by congressional district forward of the 1972 election. It took one other 20 years for Nebraska to observe swimsuit, which it did forward of the 1992 election. 

However, break up votes have been uncommon.

The first time Nebraska had a break up got here when Democrat Barack Obama received the swing Nebraska district within the Omaha space within the 2008 election, the primary time since 1964 {that a} Democrat received an electoral vote within the state. 

In 2016, Republican Donald Trump received Maine’s 2nd Congressional District, which incorporates a lot of the state exterior of Portland or Augusta, netting one electoral vote from the state. He was the primary Republican since 1988 to win a Maine electoral vote. 

In 2020, Democrat Joe Biden captured Nebraska’s third Congressional District and its electoral vote.