American Legislative Exchange Council



Nebraska ALEC Members
From: ALEC's Public Safety and Elections Task Force
Re: NE LB 583 - National Popular Vote
Date: February 23, 2011

If enacted, Nebraska LB 583 – National Popular Vote would radically change the state’s presidential election method by awarding the state’s Electoral College votes to the winner of the National Popular Vote instead of the winner of Nebraska’s popular vote. This bill shows a disregard for the principles of federalism, the historical importance of the Electoral College, and the potential problems created by a National Popular Vote.

Under the current system, states are granted one Electoral College vote for every member of Congress from their state. There are a total of 538 Electoral College votes, and a candidate must win at least 270 in order to become president. The Founding Fathers created the Electoral College and thought it important enough to put in the Constitution in Article II, Section I. The Founders created the Electoral College to ensure a balance is maintained between large and small states and among different interest groups in the country. The Founders were especially concerned about maintaining balance between agrarian and industrial interests and between Northern and Southern states. Under the National Popular Vote system, a candidate could emerge victorious from a multi-candidate race for president, having won only a majority of votes in one region of the country. 
Furthermore, a National Popular Vote system creates several different problems. First, a national recount of votes would be expensive and chaotic—imagine the Florida recount in 2000 on a national scale. Second, it would increase litigation when a state’s electoral votes go to a non-winning candidate. Third, LB 583 would have Nebraska join the constitutionally questionable interstate compact known as the “Agreement among the States to Elect the President by National Popular Vote.”

This interstate compact is an end-run around the Constitution. The appropriate way to change the nation’s voting system would be to amend the U.S. Constitution, but the inventors of this compact know this will be difficult because Congress has previously rejected more than 1,000 amendments to alter the Electoral College.

Finally, a National Popular Vote will further federalize elections and give Congress more reason to pass election mandates, rules, and procedures down to the states. States will lose their distinct and important roles in presidential elections.

Nebraska should stick with its current system and reject the interstate compact known as the “Agreement among the States to Elect the President by National Popular Vote.”

It is with these guiding principles of federalism and protecting the U.S. Constitution that the American Legislative Exchange Council opposes the policies within NE LB 583. See the attached ALEC “Resolution in Support of the Electoral College” and “Resolution in Opposition to the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact.”

For more information, contact Courtney O’Brien at or 202-742-8504.

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