FAQs about LB 125
LB 125 has been referred to a committee, so what happens next?
There was a hearing for LB 125 on February 18, but it is still under consideration by the committee. There are four ways you can submit comments to the committee, but we encourage you to write, call, or email your Senator and the committee members.
- In Person Testimony: As always, persons attending a public hearing in person will have an opportunity to present verbal testimony to the committee and be subject to questioning by the committee members. In-person testimony is generally limited to 5 minutes although the chair of each committee has discretion to modify that time limit. Persons verbally testifying will be listed as a testifier on the committee statement as has been the practice, and have their position included within the official committee hearing record.
- Written Testimony: As part of the Nebraska Legislature’s procedural modifications in response to the COVID-19 Pandemic, during the 2021 Session, the standing committees will be accepting submitted written testimony for public hearings on a bill or resolution when the following specific procedures outlined below are met.
- Email a position letter: If you are not testifying in person on a bill or resolution, or submitting written testimony in person on a bill (Option 2), but would like to submit a position letter to be included in the official hearing record as an exhibit, you must deliver your letter to the office of the committee chair or emailed to the committee’s email account email@example.com by 12:00 p.m. CST on the last work day prior to the public hearing.
- Online Comments: In order to facilitate public input on legislation, a new feature has been added to the Nebraska Legislature’s website for submission of written comments on pending legislation on the Legislature’s website at any stage of the process. Online comments are not included in official hearing records.
reach out to members of the Government, Military and Veterans Affairs Committee, they are:
- Sen. Tom Brewer, Chairperson, District 43, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Sen. Steve Halloran, District 33, email@example.com
- Sen. Matt Hansen, District 26, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Sen. John Lowe, District 37, email@example.com
- Sen. Rita Sanders, District 45, firstname.lastname@example.org
The following Nebraska State Senators have co-sponsored the measure (all three are on the committee):
- Sen. John McCollister, District 20, email@example.com, Supports LB 125 ✔
- Sen. Megan Hunt, District 8, firstname.lastname@example.org, Supports LB 125 ✔
- Sen. Carol Blood, District 3, email@example.com, Supports LB 125 ✔
Click here to find your Senator and send them a message about Ranked Choice Voting!
Does LB 125 cover ALL Nebraska elections?
Not all, but most:
- Governor and Lieutenant Governor
- Members of the State Legislature
- Congressional Representatives
- United States Senators
- State Board of Education
- Board of Regents of the University of Nebraska
- County officers
But what about Party Primaries?
Political Parties will still run their own primaries how they wish, but they will be able to nominate multiple candidates for the same seat without fearing ‘spoilers’ or diluting their voting power. Tallying the votes with ranked choice voting ensures that the victorious candidates win with a true majority – rather than a minority or plurality.
And what about Write-in Candidates?
Voters can also rank write-in candidates for each office.
FAQs about RCV
Why Ranked Choice Voting?
Because our current system is outdated. The way we vote artificially limits our choices for leaders and fails to hold them accountable to the communities they represent. To win, a candidate only needs to have the most votes – a plurality – this forces political parties to nominate only one candidate, define themselves in opposition to each other, and all but guarantees that only two political parties can be competitive on the national stage. Worse, it discourages cooperation and encourages parties to cater to increasingly entrenched and more extreme bases. Often those who get a plurality (more than other candidates) in the primaries move on to be elected while never even winning a majority of the vote from their own party.
Ranked Choice Voting assures that the candidate ultimately elected will receive more than fifty percent of the vote, meaning that a majority of voters actually voted for that candidate.
How does RCV affect voter turnout?
Many voters feel that their vote is wasted because they see from polling that their candidate is not likely to win an election. With RCV they are still encouraged to vote because they know that they can still cast a vote for their prefered candidate and they have more of a chance because more voters with the same feelings regarding underdog candidates will vote. This actually gives underdog candidates more of a chance and encourages them to bring new ideas to the field that other candidates can adopt.
Can RCV lead to better governing?
With RCV everyone elected will have a mandate from the people as they will have received a majority of the votes. Other elected officials would also have an eye to legislation that will benefit a majority of their constituents instead of corporate donors or parties.
Under the current system, representatives are elected who may have not received a majority of the vote and that lends itself to voters feeling that our elections are not fair.
Finally, with RCV, candidates with innovative ideas can run with a new message with or without broader acceptance of those ideas. If new ideas are popular, other candidates have a strong incentive to support them, whether or not state or national parties have added the idea to their platform.
How does RCV affect competition and the tone of campaigns?
RCV encourages competition because it allows for multiple candidates from the same party and reduces the limitations on minority candidates. This allows for less mainstream candidates to show their broad support and thus may create new avenues to elected office that may not have existed under the systems we currently have in place.
Because every candidate wants to get as many votes as possible, including second and third choices, they are less likely to degrade and use negative campaign techniques against other candidates. RCV gives candidates strong incentives for positive and civil campaigns, and to join in support of common sense policies with wide support.