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Part II: The Redistricting Connection and the Pitfalls of the District-Based Electoral Vote System
This Part explores the interaction between redistricting and electoral vote allocation in Nebraska and Maine, demonstrating the negative consequences and offering solutions to these problems. See Part I for an introduction and discussion about the winner-take-all rule for allocating electoral votes.
Part I: Nebraska's Electoral Vote Debate and the Pitfalls of the Winner-Take-All Rule
If put on the spot, one may have difficulty articulating similarities between the states of Nebraska and Maine: the former, corn-yielding and reliably Republican; the latter, fish-producing and predominately Democratic. Yet Maine and Nebraska are the only states in the Union that presently split presidential electoral votes by congressional district rather than allocating all electoral votes to the statewide winner. In doing so, Nebraska and Maine are useful in diagnosing two conditions that plague our democracy: the current systems of partisan redistricting and presidential electoral vote allocation.
With the completion of the 2010 Census, state legislatures are now in the process of the decennial redrawing of congressional, state, and local electoral districts. The process of creating new boundary lines is highly partisan and often comes at the expense of voters. By gerrymandering districts, legislators and their political allies use redistricting to choose their voters instead of giving voters the opportunity to choose them. FairVote provides a number of resources and reports about the redistricting process, and potential improvements to the current system.