Nebraska legislature rejects Trump-approved 'winner-take-all' electoral system bill

Nebraska is one of only two states in the country that don't use the 'winner-take-all' system

An attempt to make Nebraska's elections into a "winner-take-all" system failed this week.

State Sen. Julie Slama attached the proposed election overhaul to the unrelated bill LB1300 on Wednesday in an attempt to make the change before the end of the legislative session on April 18.

It fell short of the 23 necessary votes, failing with a final 8-36 count.

Nebraska is one of only two states in the U.S. that do not use the winner-take-all system, the other being Maine


Nebraska State Capitol building

A pedestrian passes by the Nebraska State Capitol in Lincoln, Nebraska.  (Joshua Lott/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

The two states assign votes in the Electoral College based on district, sometimes leading to Democrats snagging an extra delegate from the mostly red state. 

A change to winner-take-all would almost certainly benefit Republicans by allowing the red majority of Nebraska to dominate and prevent minority blue factions from capturing a single delegate, as has happened in the past.

Slama criticized Republicans' failure to pass the amendment, saying it showed a lack of "intestinal fortitude" despite holding a legislative majority. 

"This pretty well sums it up," said Slama. "The 'filibuster-proof' majority doesn’t have the intestinal fortitude to make Nebraska a Winner-Take-All state in an election year. Wild."


Jim Pillen speaks

Nebraska Governor Jim Pillen speaks during a ceremony in Statuary Hall. (JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images)

State Sen. Loren Lippincott sponsored the initial winner-take-all bill LB764, but now does not see it passing before the legislature closes.

"My staff and I are doing everything we can to seek options for getting this to the finish line," said Lippincott, according to local outlet WOWT. "However, the harsh reality of a two-day time frame is limiting."

Lippincott's bill boasts enthusiastic support from the state's governor and even former President Donald Trump.

"I am a strong supporter of Senator [Loren] Lippincott's winner-take-all bill (LB 764) and have been from the start. It would bring Nebraska into line with 48 of our fellow states, better reflect the founders' intent, and ensure our state speaks with one unified voice in presidential elections," Gov. Jim Pillen said in a Tuesday statement. 

Former U.S. President Donald Trump

Former U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a 2024 election campaign rally in Waco, Texas. (SUZANNE CORDEIRO/AFP via Getty Images)

Trump published a copy of the governor's statement to his proprietary social media platform, Truth Social, on the same day.

This was followed by a separate post voicing support for changing Nebraska to a winner-take-all system.

"Governor Jim Pillen of Nebraska, a very smart and popular Governor, who has done some really great things, came out today with a very strong letter in support of returning Nebraska’s Electoral Votes to a Winner-Take-All System," Trump wrote via Truth Social on Tuesday.

"Most Nebraskans have wanted to go back to this system for a very long time, because it’s what 48 other States do – It’s what the Founders intended, and it’s right for Nebraska," Trump added.

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