You are the owner of this article.
Redistricting reform ballot proposal appears to be shelved in Nebraska
editor's pick topical alert

Redistricting reform ballot proposal appears to be shelved in Nebraska

{{featured_button_text}}

Another big Nebraska general election ballot issue appears to have fallen victim to the coronavirus pandemic.

Supporters of a proposed constitutional amendment to reform Nebraska's redistricting process are shelving a petition drive to place the issue on the November ballot, according to multiple sources. 

No decision has yet been announced.

The action follows on the heels of a similar decision that ended a petition drive to seek voter approval of a billion-dollar property tax reduction proposal.

Collection of sufficient signatures to place issues on the general election ballot has been crippled this year by the pandemic, its accompanying social distancing requirements and the cancellation of events where large crowds of people could be accessed.

Following completion of the 2020 federal census, the Legislature will tackle the always contentious issue of redistricting next year, drawing maps for congressional districts and determining the division of urban-rural power in the Legislature.

Potential COVID-19 Nebraska ag losses pegged at $3.7 billion

Supporters of the proposed redistricting issue had hoped to win voter approval in November to turn that redistricting task over to a newly created, nine-member citizens commission, which would recommend new district maps to the Legislature for its approval.

Although the Legislature is nonpartisan, redistricting every 10 years becomes a sharply partisan process, with a majority of senators who are Republicans shaping congressional districts in a manner that best protects or enhances GOP interests.

Legislative redistricting divides senators largely on a rural-urban basis.

A 2019 U.S. Supreme Court decision stated that partisan gerrymandering designed to benefit a political party or its candidates is not an issue to be resolved in the federal courts.

As for legislative redistricting, current population estimates and projections suggest that urban representation in the 49-member Legislature should climb by two senators — from 25 to 27 — as a result of anticipated 2020 census figures. But there are early signs that rural senators will attempt to limit that urban gain to a single seat.

Kerrey, Heineman urge Slama to apologize for 'racist campaigning'

The Lincoln-Omaha-Sarpy County metropolitan complex is expected to contain an estimated 56% of the state's population when redistricting occurs.

The initiative championed by Nebraskans for Independent Redistricting would have required a new citizens commission on redistricting to recommend new maps to the Legislature that create "contiguous districts as nearly equal in population as possible."

Those districts could not be drawn to purposely favor incumbents or to disadvantage voters because of their race or language.

Democrats reelect Kleeb, focus on climate change, racism

Latest updates on coronavirus in Lincoln and nearby

See the latest news as more coronavirus cases are identified in Nebraska.

editor's pick alert top story
  • 5 min to read

More than 3,000 high school seniors in Lincoln are graduating into a world nobody’s navigated before, staring into a pandemic that has closed schools, slashed families’ economic security and, for many graduates, changed their college plans.

editor's pick alert featured

At middle and high schools across the city, teachers made signs and hung decorations and put on costumes and played music to help students note the end of a school year where dining room tables and bedroom desks became the classroom.

editor's pick alert top story

This year would have marked the 153rd annual community Fourth of July celebration in Seward, which first put on an event in the local town square in 1868.

editor's pick

Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody and South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson are taking the lead on the coalition. The letter is also signed by attorneys general in Alaska, Arkansas, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Montana, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Tennessee and West Virginia.

Reach the writer at 402-473-7248 or dwalton@journalstar.com.

On Twitter @LJSdon

0
0
0
0
0

Be the first to know

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.

Related to this story

Get up-to-the-minute news sent straight to your device.

Topics

News Alerts

Breaking News

Husker News