Maine House leader threatens to go winner-take-all if Nebraska does

terrymaureen maine AP

Maine’s House leader threatened to switch to a “winner-take-all” Electoral College format if Nebraska state lawmakers shift the way their state distributes electoral votes. 

Maine House Majority Leader Maureen Terry (D) said the Pine Tree State would be “compelled to act” if Nebraska followed through on altering its allocation method of electoral votes.

“If Nebraska’s Republican Governor and Republican-controlled Legislature were to change their electoral system this late in the cycle in order to unfairly award Donald Trump an additional electoral vote, I think the Maine Legislature would be compelled to act in order to restore fairness to our country’s electoral system,” Terry wrote in a Friday email to “friends and colleagues” that was obtained by The Hill. 

Maine carries four electoral college votes, dispersed between two state-wide votes and the winners of the state’s congressional districts giving one each. Maine’s count is one less than Nebraska’s. The Cornhusker State has five votes in total. 

Former President Trump has backed the push from some Republicans in Nebraska — including Gov. Jim Pillen (R) and Sen. Pete Ricketts (R-Neb.) — to change its its system, which could help consolidate all five electoral votes in support of Trump.

An initial attempt failed in early April during a procedural vote. 

Maine’s 2nd Congressional district is more rural and supported Trump in 2020. It is currently represented by centrist Rep. Jared Golden (D-Maine). 

Terry said the district voters equally cherish fairness and electoral independence. 

“Voters in Maine and voters in Maine’s 2nd congressional district value their independence, but they also value fairness and playing by the rules,” she said in the email. 

Trump carried Golden’s district, but Biden won the state, something he is likely to repeat in November. 

In Nebraska, Biden won the 2nd Congressional District, an area encompassing Omaha, but the district is represented by Rep. Don Bacon (R-Neb.). Trump won the statewide vote in 2020. 

Maine and Nebraska are the only two states that don’t have a winner-take-all electoral system, something Terry and some of her colleagues hope to go unchanged. 

“It is my hope and the hope of my colleagues in Maine that the Nebraska Republican Party decides not to make this desperate and ill-fated attempt to sway the 2024 election,” Terry said in the email.

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