Redistricting in Nebraska: Republicans, Democrats map initial proposals

Published: Sep. 8, 2021 at 8:08 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - Democrats in Nebraska are seeing red.

A proposal from state Republicans on Wednesday cuts up Nebraska’s blue dot — which secured an electoral vote for President Biden in November — but it’s all part of the process that’s just getting underway.

The current map of Nebraska’s 2nd District includes all of Douglas County and most of Sarpy County, minus Bellevue. As it exists now, the district is evenly split between Republican and Democratic voter registrations.

The map Republicans proposed in Wednesday’s committee meeting increases the size of Dist. 2, cutting Douglas County in half and adding both Saunders and Sarpy counties, which lean Republican.

State Sen. Adam Morfeld, who is on the redistricting committee, called it blatant gerrymandering.

The Democrats proposed map decreases the size of Dist. 2, keeping all of Douglas County but changing it so that Offutt and Bellevue would be included.

Republicans have not issued a response to that map yet, but a political science professor at UNO shared his initial reaction to the proposals.

“The stakes are really high,” professor Randy Adkins said. “You’re talking about a vote in Congress when Congress is controlled by a Democratic majority. You can count on two hands, so every vote matters. And when every vote matters, it’s going to be important in a state like Nebraska when typically it hasn’t been important before.”

The ACLU of Nebraska says the Republican proposal is unacceptable and dilutes the power of voters of color.

The redistricting committee will hold hearings beginning Tuesday, after the special legislative session begins on Monday.

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