Posted by Kellie Ryan on October 27, 2015 at 9:55 AM
Lincoln Journal Star covers Open Primaries report on Nebraska election system
Nebraska's nonpartisan Legislature continues to attract national attention at a time when partisan battles dominate -- and sometimes even shut down -- Congress and rule other state legislatures.
The Atlantic magazine points to the Legislature's decisions this year to enact three controversial bills that might be described as progressive legislation despite the vetoes of a conservative Republican governor in "one of the nation's most conservative states."
In Nebraska, the top two vote-getters in legislative primaries in which candidates are not identified by party affiliation move on to a general election showdown.
In California and Washington, where the top two vote-getters are nominated in open primaries without regard to their party affiliation, independent voters now have a voice in selecting the general election finalists, the magazine noted.
If Nebraska had a partisan legislature, Democratic State Chairman Vince Powers told The Atlantic, there's "no question" that the Legislature could not have passed the 2015 bills abolishing the death penalty and granting driver's licenses to young undocumented immigrants protected by Deferred Action for Child Arrivals (DACA), a presidential executive action.
"The problem isn't the money; the problem is the parties themselves," John Opdycke, president of an organization called Open Primaries, told the magazine.