If a law were passed deliberately proclaiming that an elite group of only 16 percent of Nebraskans would be allowed to name the probable next Governor and U.S. Senator, one would hope there would be a furious rejection of that law.
Yet that is exactly what happened on Tuesday. Nebraska Election law allowed a minority within a minority to determine the people most likely to become its next Governor and U.S. Senator.
I have no objection to who won, but how a candidate wins should be every bit as important as whether that candidate wins. Otherwise, how can we have any confidence that these select few will nominate someone who really represents the majority view of their party?
According to the Nebraska Secretary of State's office, 553,046 voters are registered Republicans. This is 48 percent of all registered voters and 39 percent of the 1,401,387 Nebraskans 18 or over. At best, about 40 percent of those registered Republicans voted to determine who their nominees would be on the ballot in November. Because Nebraska election law does not require Republicans to decide a majority winner, the nominee for Governor was determined by only 26.48 percent of those who voted, nowhere near a majority. This is 10.5 percent of Registered Republicans and 4.1 percent of Nebraskans 18 or over. That means that a mere 57,922 Nebraskans effectively decided who would represent all 1,401,387 Nebraskans 18 or over. The Attorney General race had similar ratios and so would the Senate race if Osborn had not collapsed as a candidate.
Government policy should be determined by the will of the majority, and that will has been thwarted. Currently, the will of the majority is being left undetermined. A strong argument could be made that those candidates nominated by less than a majority are illegitimate nominees.
I urge all Nebraskans to contact their State Legislators and demand our flawed system be replaced by election requirements that ensure political parties nominate majority winners, not plurality winners.
Larry R. Bradley