Seeking to attract a little more attention from presidential candidates, Nebraska has become the second state to distribute presidential electoral votes by congressional district.
Gov. Ben Nelson (D) signed the bill, which lawmakers narrowly passed 25 to 23. It gives Nebraska a system similar to the one used by Maine for the past 27 years.
Instead of all five of Nebraska's electoral votes going to the presidential nominee who wins 50 percent or more of the popular vote, the new law requires that two at-large electors be chosen from the party whose nominee received the highest number of votes statewide. The other three electors, chosen from the state's congressional districts, would represent the party whose nominee received the highest number of votes in each district.
Supporters said the system will encourage presidential candidates to campaign in the sparsely populated state even if they are unlikely to win a majority of the popular vote.
Had the district system been in place, according to the bill's sponsor, state Sen. DiAnna Schimek, Nebraska's electoral history would have been changed three times, most recently in 1964, when Barry Goldwater (R) would have been able to take one electoral vote away from Lyndon B. Johnson (D).