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Thu Jan 31, 2013, 12:44 PM

3 Reasons the Election Rigging Scandal Is Not Dead

Two weeks ago, Republican National Committee Chair Reince Priebus called upon "states that have been consistently blue that are fully controlled red" to consider a Republican plan to rig future presidential races. Under the GOP plan, these blue states would stop awarding electoral votes to the winner of the state as a whole, and instead would award them one-by-one to the winner of each congressional district. Because these districts are highly gerrymandered to favor Republicans, the election-rigging plan ensures that Republicans will win the overwhelming majority of the electoral votes in these blue states regardless of how the people of those states cast their votes.

Six states potentially fit Priebus' description of a blue state that is currently controlled by Republicans - Florida, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin. To date, senior Republicans in four of these states have either voted down the plan or indicated that it will not be taken up in the first place, and the governor of a fifth state has expressed concerns about the plan:

•Florida: Florida is the least blue of the six states where the GOP plan could be enacted, so it is unsurprising that top Florida Republicans appear cold to the plan. Florida House Speaker Will Weatherford (R) compared the plan to rigging a football game, and state Senate President Don Gaetz (R) supports abolishing the Electoral College altogether.
•Virginia: Yesterday, a Virginia state senate committee voted to kill the election-rigging plan by an overwhelming 11-4 vote. Four Republicans opposed rigging the Electoral College.
•Ohio: Many of the most senior Republicans in Ohio, including Gov. John Kasich, state Senate President Keith Faber and House Speaker William G. Batchelder all said this week that they will not pursue the election-rigging plan, and Batchelder added that he "is not supportive of such a move."
•Michigan: In an interview with Bloomberg yesterday, Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder (R) said that he is "very skeptical" of the election-rigging plan and would oppose taking it up at least until right before the next redistricting.
•Wisconsin: The election-rigging plan is decidedly not dead in Wisconsin, but Gov. Scott Walker (R) said earlier this week that he has "real concern" that it could diminish the relevance of Wisconsin in presidential races.


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