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Posts tagged "Electoral College"

h/t: Brian Tashman at RWW

Last winter, shortly after President Obama won his second term in office, many Republicans rallied behind a pair of election-rigging plans designed to make it virtually impossible for a Democrat to win White House again. Though the two plans differ in important ways, the crux of both plans is to rig the Electoral College by requiring blue states to award a significant portion of their electoral votes to Republican presidential candidates — all while ensuring that red states will award 100 percent of their electoral votes to the Republican as well. Though these election-rigging plans appeared dead after a wave of Republican officials came out against them, one of them has just returned to life in California.

On November 22, a man named Hal Nickle filed a proposed ballot initiative in California which would change the way that state allocates electoral votes to ensure that a large chunk of California’s 55 electors go to the GOP, even though Californians consistently prefer Democratic candidates to Republicans. Rather than allocating all of California’s electoral votes to the winner of the state as a whole, as nearly all states currently award their votes, the election-rigging initiative would allocate the states votes proportionally according to the percentage of votes won by each candidate. Thus, if this plan had been in effect in 2012, Mitt Romney would have received 37.12 percent of California’s electors — adding 20 to his overall total.

The trick behind this proposal is that if would only change the law in California, while leaving red states free to award all of their electors to the Republican:

ca-rigging

If enacted in enough blue states, this plan would make it virtually impossible for a Democrat to win the presidency no matter how they performed in the popular vote.

h/t: hIan Millhiser at Think Progress Justice

As a general rule, the candidate who receives the most votes in an election is declared the winner.  But that would all change if the Family Research Council’s Ken Blackwell gets his way and states start adopting a vote-rigging scheme that he is recommending whereby, in a presidential election, electoral votes would switch from winner-take-all allocations to a system where they were awarded according to congressional districts.

As a result of such a switch, candidates who lose the overall popular vote in a state could still end up receiving a majority of that state’s electoral votes simply by virtue of winning the popular vote in more individual districts.

As Blackwell admitted several months ago, if this sort of system had been in place during the last election, Mitt Romney would have won the presidency despite the fact that he lost the overall popular vote by nearly 5 million votes.

David Barton has eagerly been supporting the scheme by laughably claiming that it would “give the people a greater voice” and last night he got Glenn Beck to endorse it as well on his television program.

From the 09.19.2013 edition of TheBlazeTV’s The Glenn Beck Program:

h/t: Kyle Mantyla at RWW

After watching the Republican presidential candidates lose the last two elections, right-wing activist Ken Blackwell cooked up a scheme whereby states would move away from winner-take-all allocations of electors to a system in which Electoral College votes would be assigned according to congressional districts.

The result would be that a Republican presidential candidate who does not win the overall popular vote in the state could still end up receiving a majority of that state’s electoral votes simply by virtue of winning the popular vote in more individual districts.

Today, Blackwell appeared on “WallBuilders Live" to promote this scheme, where it was met with enthusiastic support from Rick Green and David Barton. As Blackwell explained, if every state had implemented this plan for the 2012 election, Mitt Romney would have won despite the fact that he lost the overall popular vote by nearly 5 million votes.

Blackwell: There’s an old farmer’s tale that if you throw a brick at a pack of pigs, the one that squeals is the one you hit.  Well, when we put this out there, the Left started squealing, the New York Times started squealing, so we must be on to something.

Green: You must be on to something. No doubt about that.  I haven’t had a chance to look, I don’t if anyone has done a map, I’d be real curious to know if every state did this, how would the last few elections [have gone]? Have you had a chance to look?

Blackwell: I already know. If every state did it, Romney would have won the election.  And so that’s another reason that the Left just instinctively dislikes it.

Barton: This actually is a way to give the people a greater voice rather than just having the majority slap it to the minority every time you turn around. And I really like what he’s proposed here with reverting back out of the winner-take-all philosophy of the states, going back to congressional district take all, which is a good way to do it.

From the 05.02.2013 edition of Wallbuilders Live:

h/t: Kyle Mantyla at Right Wing Watch

Late last week, democracy scored two important victories over a Republican plan to rig future presidential elections by changing the way electoral votes are counted in several key blue states. Two Virginia Republican state senators spoke out against the plan, effectively killing it. And Florida House Speaker Will Weatherford (R) attacked the election-rigging scheme as trying to “change the rules of the game.”

In Michigan, however, which is the bluest of the six blue states where the election-rigging plan has been discussed, state House Speaker Jase Bolger (R) appears quite open to rigging his state’s electoral college votes to benefit Republicans.

In other words, Republican voters in Michigan are upset that Democrats win elections simply because there are more of them. And Bolger wants to fix that by giving the few Republicans more votes than the majority.

h/t: Ian Millhiser at Think Progress Justice

WASHINGTON — Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) did not rule out allocating the state’s electoral votes proportionally Saturday.

"It’s an interesting idea," he told a Newsmax interviewer at the National Review Institute Summit in Washington after speaking at a lunch. "I haven’t committed one way or the other to it. For me, and I think any other state considering this, you should really look at not just the short-term but the long-term implications. Is it better or worse for the electorate?

Said Walker, “Some might argue that it would give more opportunity for candidates to jump in; others suggest it might reduce it.”

"I think we have to very careful in changes like that. But I think it’s worth looking at," he said.

h/t: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/26/scott-walker-electoral-vote_n_2558362.html

slephoto:

Hmmm

Vogel, a former Republican National Committee election lawyer, said she saw no problem with the bill’s legality, but objected to the image it creates for her party so soon after Obama’s victory last fall.

“It’s the timing of it,” she said. “It’s just an awful impression it makes.”

Riiiiiight. By “awful,” of course, she means “an accurate assessment of what our party is all about.”

(via pop-rocks-blowjob)

(via How Republicans Plan To Rig The Next Presidential Election, In Six Pictures | ThinkProgress)

Yesterday, Virginia Republicans took the first step to move a GOP plan to rig the Electoral College forward in that state. Similar plans are under consideration in PennsylvaniaWisconsin, and Michigan.

The Republican election rigging plan targets blue states that President Obama won in 2008 and 2012, and changes the way they allocate electoral votes to give many of these votes away for free to the Republican candidate for president. Under the Republican Plan, most electoral votes will be allocated to the winner of individual Congressional districts, rather than to the winner of the state as a whole. Because the Republican Plan would be implemented in states that are heavily gerrymandered to favor Republicans, the resulting maps would all but guarantee that the Republican would win a majority of each state’s electoral votes, even if the Democratic candidate wins the state as a whole.

Under the Republican plan, GOP lawmakers in several states that supported the Democratic candidate for president in recent elections would stop awarding all of their electoral votes to the winner of the state as a whole, and instead award most of them one-by-one to the winners of individual congressional districts. In part because of widespread Republican gerrymandering, if Republicans had implemented this election rigging plan in six key states where they currently control the state government — Florida, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Wisconsin — Mitt Romney would have won the Electoral College despite losing the popular vote by nearly four points.

Efforts are already underway in several of these six key states to enact this election rigging plan and all but ensure that the next President of the United States is a Republican — regardless of how the American people cast their votes in 2016. Seven Pennsylvania state house members introduced a bill implementing the GOP election rigging plan this week, and the plan already enjoys the support of Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett (R) and state Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi (R). A bill backed by Virginia State Senator Charles “Bill” Carrico Sr. (R) would implement the election rigging plan in Virginia. And Wisconsin Republican state Rep. Dan LeMahieu is behind an election rigging bill in his state. Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted (R) expressed support for the Republican election rigging plan, but he later backed off that support following significant criticism.

Michigan is a blue state. It supported the Democratic candidate for president in every single election for the last two decades. President Obama won the state by nearly 10 points last November. And yet, if the Republican election-rigging plan had been in effect last year, Romney would have likely won a majority of the state’s electoral votes.

H/T: Ian Millhiser at Think Progress Justice

Fresh from claiming the GOP’s 2012 run was “a great campaign—a nine-month campaign”; that only went awry at the end, Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus now wants to rig the Electoral College so that when Republicans lose they still might “win.”

Specifically, Priebus is urging Republican governors and legislators to take up what was once a fringe scheme to change the rule for distribution of Electoral College votes. Under the Priebus plan, electoral votes from battleground states such as Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Wisconsin and other states that now regularly back Democrats for president would be allocated not to the statewide winner but to the winners of individual congressional districts.

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. In Wisconsin, where Democrat Barack Obama won in 2012 by a wider margin than he did nationally, the president would only have gotten half the electoral votes. In Pennsylvania, where Obama won easily, he would not have gotten the twenty electoral votes that he did; instead, under the Priebus plan, it would have been eight for Republican Mitt Romney, twelve for Barack Obama.

Nationwide, Obama won a sweeping popular-vote victory—with an almost 5-million ballot margin that made him the first president since Dwight Eisenhower to take more than 51 percent of the vote in two elections. That translated to a very comfortable 322-206 win in the Electoral College.

How would the 2012 results have changed if a Priebus plan had been in place? According to an analysis byFair Vote-The Center for Voting and Democracy, the results would have been a dramatically closer and might even have yielded a Romney win.

Under the most commonly proposed district plan (the statewide winner gets two votes with the rest divided by congressional district) Obama would have secured the narrowest possible win: 270-268. Under more aggressive plans (including one that awards electoral votes by district and then gives the two statewide votes to the candidate who won the most districts), Romney would have won 280-258.

“If Republicans in 2011 had abused their monopoly control of state government in several key swing states and passed new laws for allocating electoral votes, the exact same votes cast in the exact same way in the 2012 election would have converted Barack Obama’s advantage of nearly five million popular votes and 126 electoral votes into a resounding Electoral College defeat,” explains FairVote’s Rob Richie.

The RNC chair is encouraging Republican governors and legislators—who, thanks to the “Republican wave” election of 2010, still control many battleground states that backed Obama and the Democrats in 2012—to game the system.

“I think it’s something that a lot of states that have been consistently blue [Democratic in presidential politics] that are fully controlled red [in the statehouse] ought to be considering,” Priebus says with regard to the schemes for distributing electoral votes by district rather than the traditional awarding of the votes of each state (except Nebraska and Maine, which have historically used narrowly defined district plans) to the winner.

Already, there are moves afoot in a number of battleground states to “fix” the rules to favor the Republicans in 2016, just as they have already fixed the district lines for electing members of the House. Thanks to gerrymandering and the concentration of Democratic votes, Republicans were able to lose the overall nationwide vote for US House seats by 1.4 million votes and still take control of the chamber—thus giving the United States the divided government that voters have rejected.

h/t: John Nichols at The Nation

Virginia State Senator Charles “Bill” Carrico Sr. (R) has become the latest swing state-Republican to propose a scheme to rig presidential elections for future Republican candidates. Blue Virginia reportshis proposed SB 723 would award the state’s electors based on which candidate gets the majority of votes in each gerrymandered Congressional district — rather than based on who gets the most votes statewide.

The Carrico bill would award one of Virginia’s 13 electoral votes to the presidential candidate who gets the most votes in each of the Commonwealth’s 11 Congressional Districts. The remaining two electors would go to the candidate who won the majority of Congressional Districts. With aRepublican-controlled redistricting passed earlier this year, Virginia Democrats were heavily packed into three districts. Under these maps, Obama won Virginia by almost a 4 point margin, yet he carried just four Virginia Congressional Districts. Were Carrico’s scheme in place, Mitt Romney would have received seven of Virginia’s 11 electoral votes despite receiving just 47.28% of the vote statewide.

Had the Carrico plan been instituted for the 2012 elections in Florida, Michigan, Ohio, Virginia, and Wisconsin, it is quite likely Mitt Romney would be the president-elect despite President Obama’s 51-47 majority.

H/T: Josh Israel at Think Progress Justice

One Idaho state lawmaker is still in denial over election results and would like to see states challenge the legitimacy of Obama’s reelection. Last week, Idaho State Sen. Sheryl Nuxoll (R) amplified a debunked theory circulating Tea Party blogs, that claims Romney still has a chance to win if enough states refuse to participate in the Electoral College.

Nuxoll linked to the debunked idea in a tweet, afterward telling the Spokane Spokesman-Review “I don’t know if it’s realistic”:

Even though Obama won 51 percent of the popular vote, by Nuxoll’s reasoning, “states are going to have to stand up for our individual rights and for our collective rights” because he is “depriving us of our freedoms.”

Constitutional Accountability Center’s Emily Phelps explains why the idea that unhappy Republicans can prevent the Electoral College from reaching a “quorum” is completely wrong: “A quick reading shows that [Tea Party Nation’s] Phillips has his voting bodies backward. There is no quorum requirement for the Electoral College. If pro-Romney electors boycotted the meeting as Phillips has urged, the others would simply meet without them and elect President Obama.”

H/T: Rebecca Leber at Think Progress Justice

Last year, Pennsylvania’s Republican Gov. Tom Corbett proposed rigging the Electoral College vote in his state through a plan that would have given the majority of the state’s electors to Romney even after President Obama carried the state. Under Corbett’s plan, the winner of each congressional district within Pennsylvania would receive a single electoral vote, and the overall winner of the state would receive an additional two electoral votes. Had this plan been in place last Tuesday, Mitt Romney would likely have won 13 of the state’s 20 electoral votes, despite losing the state overall by more than five points.

Corbett’s election-rigging plan died, largely because Republican members of Congress in Pennsylvania feared that it would cause the Obama campaign to shift resources into their districts and endanger their own chances of being reelected. Now, however, Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted (R)– who spent much of 2012 inventing ways to prevent pro-Obama votes from being cast or counted — wants to revive this election rigging scheme.

Indeed, if the Corbett/Husted plan to rig the Electoral College had been law in several key Republican-controlled states that President Obama won last Tuesday, America would now be looking at a very different future.

Add those 64 votes to the 206 votes Romney won legitimately, and it adds up to exactly 270 — the amount he needed to win the White House.

h/t: Ian Millhiser and Josh Israel at Think Progress

tartantambourine:

From Harold Meyerson’s column:

Considered in tandem with the drive to reduce voting among minorities and low-income citizens, the emerging Republican opposition to popular-vote democracy makes long-term strategic sense. With each year, the nation’s population and electorate become less white, even as the Republican Party becomes more and more a white folks’ party. As minorities and the poor tend to cluster in cities, in heavily Democratic congressional districts, apportioning a state’s electoral votes by congressional district creates an opportunity for GOP electoral gains even though the party’s share of the popular vote is waning.

(via truth-has-a-liberal-bias)