# 1: reach out to your state senator
You can look up your Senator here, along with their email address, phone number, and office address. It’s great if your Senator is a member of the Government, Military and Veteran’s Affairs Committee (which oversees election bills like LB 776), but you can ALSO write to these Senators along with your own.
Personal emails and letters are more effective than form letters, but we have an example letter and some tips below. You can also call your Senator and leave a message with their staff.
NOTE: We are focused on passing election reform in Nebraska, but if you are from another state, we encourage you to check out to your state chapter of Rank the Vote, or our friends at FairVote and the Ranked Choice Voting Resource Center.
#2: Reach out to members of the Government, Military and Veterans Affairs Committee, they are:
- Sen. Tom Brewer, Chairperson, District 43, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Sen. Steve Halloran, District 33, email@example.com
- Sen. Matt Hansen, District 26, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Sen. John Lowe, District 37, email@example.com
- Sen. Rita Sanders, District 45, firstname.lastname@example.org
The following Nebraska State Senators have co-sponsored the measure (all three are on the committee):
- Sen. John McCollister, District 20, email@example.com, Supports LB 125 ✔
- Sen. Megan Hunt, District 8, firstname.lastname@example.org, Supports LB 125 ✔
- Sen. Carol Blood, District 3, email@example.com, Supports LB 125 ✔
SAMPLE LETTER: LB 125
Senators of the Government, Military and Veterans Affairs Committee (firstname.lastname@example.org) OR
Senator (Last name) (Find your Senator here)
P.O. Box (94604)
Lincoln, NE 68509
Subject: LB 125 – Provide for ranked-choice voting for certain elections
Dear Senator (Last name),
My name is (your first and last name) and I am writing to encourage you to support LB 125, which establishes ranked choice voting for many of our elections, introduced by Senator McCollister. I live in District (number), (in neighborhood/on street).
There are wide-reaching benefits to introducing a ballot that allows voters to rank their choices in candidates, but the ones most important to me are: (Choose however many you wish)
- Winners represent a true majority and only candidates with broad support can win
- Every vote counts, even if your first choice is not the most popular
- Voters get more choices, with institutional barriers-to-entry removed for new candidates
- Encourages cooperation between candidates and disincentivizes negative campaigning
- Eliminates costly runoffs and primaries
- RCV is easier to understand and implement than other electoral reform proposals
- Political parties can still manage their own primaries however they like, but RCV incentivizes giving voters more choices, parties to run as many candidates as they want without fear of dividing or diluting their base’s voting power
- RCV encourages independent candidates to run without support of a major party
Enacting LB 125 before the next elections would encourage more candidates to run for governor – with or without the support of a major party – giving voters more choices AND ensuring that the winner has the support of a true majority.
Ranked Choice Voting is used in 26 states for local, municipal, primary, or special elections, and 21 states have introduced legislation this year. I would be happy to talk with you in more detail about this, and thank you for your time and consideration.
SIGN YOUR NAME
(Print your name)
(City, State, Zip code)
Tips for Writing, Sending an Email, or Calling your Senator
Writing a letter to a legislator
- Use the proper salutation, for example:
- The Honorable (first name) (last name)
- City, State, Zip code
- Dear (Senator) (Last name)
- Be courteous and informative in your communication.
- State the purpose of the letter in the opening sentence and if you are referring to a bill, include the bill number, author and topic. If you live in the elected official’s district be sure to say this in the opening paragraph as well.
- Focus on the message and key points. Personalize the letter by including examples of how the legislation might impact you and your family.
- Keep the letter brief – not more than one page.
- Restate your request at the end of the letter, for example urging them to support or oppose the bill.
- Thank the legislator for his or her support and offer to address any questions that he or she might have.
- Be sure to include your contact information, and sign the letter.
Sending an email to a legislator
The same guidelines apply to e-mail as to written letters.
- Before sending an e-mail, you might want to call the legislator’s office and ask if a letter sent by e-mail is effective.
- If you do send an e-mail, send it to the representative. Do not copy other representatives or send a mass e-mail.
- Make it a brief message with no special layouts or graphics.
- Do not include attachments.
- Include your full name and address so it is clear that you are a constituent, and ask for a response.
- You might also want to send a hard copy of your e-mail to the legislator.
Phone calls to a legislator
- State your name and address and identify yourself as the legislator’s constituent.
- You will most often be speaking with a staff member. Briefly make known your position as they keep track of the issues that people call about to report to the legislator.
- Have your thoughts organized in advance, which will help you to keep the call brief and to the point.
- It is also very helpful to share how the issue affects you personally.
- Thank them for their time and support.