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  Nebraska Dems cry foul over Douglas County changes
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Last EditedCOSDem  Apr 09, 2012 08:58pm
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News DateTuesday, April 10, 2012 02:00:00 AM UTC0:0
DescriptionWhen Democrat Barack Obama became the first presidential candidate to split Nebraska's electoral votes by shaving off the state's 2nd District, Nebraska Republicans vowed it wouldn't happen again.

Now, state Democrats say Republicans have gone too far in an attempt to keep any of the state's five electoral votes from going to Obama in his re-election bid _ a claim rebuffed by the state GOP.

Shortly after Obama's coup in 2008, Republicans pushed for a winner-take-all system in Nebraska _ one of only two states that can split its electoral votes. The measure didn't find traction with lawmakers, as they were grappling with heavier issues such as budget shortfalls and immigration. What the GOP-dominated Legislature did manage last year was a redistricting effort, redrawing the Omaha-centric 2nd District to be more GOP-friendly.

But it is recent changes implemented by Douglas County Election Commissioner Dave Phipps, an appointee of Republican Gov. Dave Heineman, that are really raising eyebrows.

Last month, Phipps' plans to close 150 polling places_ more than half of the previous 357 _ in and around Omaha surfaced. That led to complaints that the state's poorest voters with limited access to transportation would be, at best, discouraged from voting and, at worst, unable to get to a polling place.

Within days, Phipps confirmed that his office had knowingly sent out polling place cards to nearly 2,000 north Omaha voters _ a precinct of mostly low-income Democratic voters _ with the wrong polling place information on them.
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