The League of Women Voters of Nebraska continues to support the creation of a redistricting process that is fair and unbiased: a people-powered process to eliminate partisan and racial gerrymandering. Additionally, the League is committed to efforts to educate all Nebraskans regarding the importance of fair redistricting. Working together, we can strengthen our democracy and protect Nebraska’s nonpartisan tradition.
The LWVNE is part of People Powered Fair Maps,™ a national redistricting program of the League of Women Voters focused on creating fair political maps nationwide. The program includes initiatives in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The LWVNE is working with a coalition of partners to to end gerrymandering and ensure that Nebraska’s citizens have a say in redistricting.
Why Redistricting Reform?
- Gerrymandering is undemocratic and goes against Nebraska’s traditions of nonpartisanship and fair play.
- When districts are gerrymandered, our elected representatives have been allowed to choose their voters instead of the voters choosing them.
- When Nebraskans are included in the process of drawing new election district maps, their fundamental right to choose who represents them is preserved. Voters believe their vote makes a difference.
- When maps are drawn without political bias they represent minority groups more fairly.
Redistricting in 2021 Unicameral
Senator McCollister Will Push for Fair Redistricting Maps
Senator John McCollister will introduce a redistricting bill in the 2021 legislative session that will move Nebraska toward a fair redistricting process.
“I will reintroduce the provisions in LB1207 in the 2021 legislative session,” McCollister said. “The bill includes refinements suggested by Senators Sara Howard, Wendy DeBoer and Tony Vargas that prohibit consideration of the political affiliation and voting data of registered voters and demographic information other than from the U.S. Bureau of the Census when drawing legislative boundaries. The bill also retains the important provision that a hearing on the proposed maps occurs in each of the congressional districts in the state.”
Read his Midlands Voices article from the Oct. 7, 2020, Omaha World Herald.
Gavin Geis Previews Redistricting in the Unicameral
This Lunch & Learn Zoom presentation sponsored by the League of Women Voters of Lincoln-Lancaster County features Gavin Geis of Common Cause Nebraska discussing redistricting in the upcoming 2021 Nebraska legislative session.
Building Off Redistricting Efforts in 2020
A Closer Look at LB1207
The LWVNE supported LB1207, a bill introduced in 2020 by Senator McCollister that would have created substantive and procedural guidelines to be followed by the Redistricting Committee and Legislature in the redistricting process following the decennial U.S. Census.
According to the committee statement: LB1207 Executive Board Committee. The stated purpose of this Redistricting Act was to establish the procedures to divide the state into districts by designating boundary lines based on population. Maps would have been required to be drawn using politically neutral criteria, including:
- Equality of population – plus or minus a 1% or less deviation;
- Contiguous districts;
- No consideration of political affiliation;
- No consideration of previous voting data or election results;
- Data and demographic information only from the Census Bureau; and
- Deference to county and municipal boundary lines.
LB1207 was indefinitely postponed on Aug. 13, 2020.
Nebraskans for Independent Redistricting (NIR) proposed a ballot initiative that would have prohibited the manipulation of voting districts — the process known as gerrymandering — through an independent redistricting committee. The campaign was focused on empowering citizens and ending backroom deals so people choose their politicians — not the other way around. With the broad coalition leading the campaign and support from Nebraska voters who want this reform, the NIR was confident that we would qualify for the Nov. 3, 2020, ballot and, once qualified, that we would win.
Then the pandemic hit. Although NIR and the partner organizations worked to explore options to move the effort forward, we were not able to run a traditional signature drive required for ballot initiatives due to public health concerns.
But, the campaign does not stop here. The 2021 legislative session will present another opportunity to shape the rules and the process to increase transparency and end partisan gerrymandering. If need be, Nebraskans for Independent Redistricting will be prepared to take redistricting reform to voters again.
Interested in Supporting our Cause?