“It is difficult to find the words to describe just how evil this plan is, it is an obscene scheme to cheat by rigging the elections”-Pennsylvania state Sen. Daylin Leach
No, this isn’t a joke. Republicans are at it again.
After back-to-back presidential losses, Republicans in key states want to change the rules to make it easier for them to win.
From Wisconsin to Pennsylvania, GOP officials who control legislatures in states that supported President Barack Obama are considering changing state laws that give the winner of a state’s popular vote all of its Electoral College votes, too. Instead, these officials want Electoral College votes to be divided proportionally, a move that could transform the way the country elects its president.
There’s a new scheme brewing in states where the voters voted for Barack Obama but state governments are controlled by Republicans. Since they can’t win swing states like Ohio, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania, they want to change the rules to rig the election to give themselves more electoral votes.
For example, say that under a new plan, Mitt Romney got one third of the electoral votes in each of those four states. That would mean that 6 of Ohio’s 18 votes would have gone to Repulbicans. Add 5 votes out of Michigan’s 16, 7 out of Pennsylvania’s 20, and 3 of Wisconsin’s 10 electoral votes.
That’s 21 votes swinging to the Republicans, equivalent to a large state like Pennsylvania or New York. Under this scenario Obama still would have won in 2012. But for a closer election, this could swing the vote one way or another. This plan is essentially a way to rig the Electoral College process to give electoral votes to Republicans that they didn’t earn.
Reince Priebus, predicably, loves the idea.
“It’s something that a lot of states that have been consistently blue that are fully controlled red ought to be looking at,” [RNC chairman Reince] Priebus told the Wisconsin Journal Sentinel, emphasizing that each state must decide for itself.
One plan being floated around is to divide up electoral votes by congressional district. An article in The Nation talks about this:
Because of gerrymandering by Republican governors and legislators, and the concentration of Democratic votes in urban areas and college towns, divvying up Electoral College votes based on congressional district wins would yield significantly better results for the GOP.
This has to be treated as a serious attempt by Republicans to skew election results their way. At least some state-level Dems like Pennsylvania state Sen. Daylin Leach are sounding the alarm. But will people listen, or will this story just be buried by corporate mainstream media?
This could be a major change in the way presidents are elected, and have implications for generations to come. I know Obama and the Dems aren’t perfect, but they are better than the alternative. We can’t forget that Republicans can and will do whatever they can to advance their extreme agenda, even if it means forgetting about democracy and rigging elections by changing Electoral College rules. There’s no low that they won’t stoop to.
And here’s an article from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel about the fight that’s already brewing in Wisconsin over changing Electoral College rules there.
Also: This is my first post here at FDL, so thanks for giving me a place to put this where people might read it. You can follow me on Twitter at @bannedbykos. (heh heh..)
Image by DonkeyHotey released under a Creative Commons license.