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“Undermining Democracy”: The GOP Plot To Steal The 2016 Election Continues

Michigan’s Republican Party approved a resolution Saturday that would change the way the states award electoral votes from the winner-take-all system that has existed since the state’s admission to the Union.

A total of 14 votes would be awarded to the candidate with the most votes in each congressional district and two would go to the overall winner of the state’s popular vote.

Under this scheme, Mitt Romney would likely have won 10 of the state’s electoral votes to President Obama’s six — despite the fact that Obama carried the state by nearly 10 percent.

The resolution was introduced by Rep. Pete Lund (R), who offered electoral college reform legislation in 2011 that would have given Romney the state, but which state Republicans rejected because they assumed the GOP nominee, a Michigan native and son of a former governor, would win the state.

Lund will likely reintroduce the bill in 2013. Republicans have majorities in both state houses and Republican governor Rick Snyder is supportive of the plan, but questions its timing.

“The right way is to talk about it in a bipartisan way … just prior to a census,” Snyder said.

Snyder’s approval rating has declined rapidly since he signed anti-union legislation during last year’s lame-duck session. He’s since tried to move back to the center by saying he’d like the state to accept Medicaid expansion.

Michigan’s shift of 10 electoral votes to Romney would not have swung the 2012 election for Romney. However, if all the states that have suggested changing the way they award their electors — Michigan, Virginia, Ohio, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania — had done so, Romney would likely be in the White House now, which is why Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus endorsed the scheme.

The idea has been rejected by a few top Republicans — like Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Virginia governor Bob McDonnell (R-VA) — and thus faded from the agendas in Virginia, Ohio and Wisconsin.

But in Pennsylvania — the state where voter ID was supposed to give the election to Romney — the effort continues.

A new bill that would rig the state’s electoral votes has been introduced by 13 Republican state senators. That support represents half the total votes the bill would need to pass the Senate. The bill could be on the desk of Governor Tom Corbett — who would sign it — this week.

Pennsylvania, like Michigan, has voted Democratic in every presidential election since 1992.


By: Jason Sattler, The National Memo, February 25, 2013

February 26, 2013 Posted by | Democracy, GOP | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

“An Electoral Facsimile Of Jim Crow”: Virginia Republicans Move Forward With Mass Voter Disenfranchisement

This morning, I wrote on an emerging Republican plan—in swing states won by President Obama—to rig presidential elections by awarding electoral votes to the winner of the most congressional districts. Because Democratic voters tend to cluster in highly-populated urban areas, and Republican voters tend to reside in more sparsely populated regions, this makes land the key variable in elections—to win the majority of a state’s electoral votes, your voters will have to occupy the most geographic space.

In addition to disenfranchising voters in dense areas, this would end the principle of “one person, one vote.” If Ohio operated under this scheme, for example, Obama would have received just 22 percent of the electoral votes, despite winning 52 percent of the popular vote in the state.

For this reason, I didn’t expect Republicans to go forward with the plan—the risk of blowback is just too high. My skepticism, however, was misplaced. In Virginia, a local news station reports that just this afternoon, a state Senate subcommittee recommended a bill end Virginia’s winner-take-all system and apportion its 13 electoral votes by congressional district.

Unlike similar proposals in Pennsylvania and Michigan, this one wouldn’t award the remaining electoral votes to the winner (Virginia has 11 districts). Rather, the winner of the most congressional districts would get the final two votes. If this were in effect last year, Obama would have gotten just 4 of the state’s votes, despite winning 51 percent of its voters.

The bill’s sponsor, Republican Senator Charles W. “Bill” Carrico, says the change is necessary because Virginia’s urbanized areas can outvote rural regions, weakening their political strength. In other words, Carrico thinks winning land is more important than winning people when it comes to presidential elections.

It should be said that this scheme, if carried out on a large scale, will guarantee an explosion of recounts. In any district where there is a narrow margin between the two candidates, there will be every incentive to challenge the results. Republicans present this as a way to streamline elections, but in reality, it would complicate them, and drag out the process for weeks—if not months. It would be Florida in the 2000 election, multiplied by 435.

It should also be said, again, that this constitutes a massive disenfranchisement of African American and other nonwhite voters, who tend to cluster near urban areas. When you couple this with the move on Monday to redraw the state’s electoral maps—eliminating one state senate district and packing black voters into another, diluting their strength—it’s as if Virginia Republicans are responding to Obama’s repeat victory in the state by building an electoral facsimile of Jim Crow.


By: Jamelle Bouie, The American Prospect, January 23, 2013

January 24, 2013 Posted by | Elections, Voting Rights | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment


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