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Wed Jan 30, 2013, 09:38 AM

GOP’s Electoral Vote Scheme Already On Life Support

BENJY SARLIN JANUARY 30, 2013, 6:26 AM 3432
Four states down, and just two remain.

Key Republican officials in Virginia, Ohio, Florida, and Michigan are coming out against a RNC-backed scheme to rig the electoral vote in Democratic-leaning states in order to boost Republican presidential candidates. That leaves just Pennsylvania and Wisconsin as the remaining blue states with Republican statehouses actively considering the idea.

Virginia was the first state to move on the idea in 2013, advancing a bill out of a state Senate subcommittee that would apportion its electoral votes by Congressional district rather than the winner-take-all method used in 48 of the 50 states. Had it been in place the year before, Mitt Romney would have won 9 of the state’s electoral votes to President Obama’s 4 despite losing the state’s popular vote. But after Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) and key Republican lawmakers came out against it, the bill was defeated in committee Tuesday on an 11-4 vote.

Not only does the Virginia bill appear to be dead, the media frenzy surrounding it has forced top Republicans in other states to take a decisive position on similar proposals in their legislatures as well.

In Michigan, Gov. Rick Snyder (R) came out decisively against the idea on Tuesday, a shift from previous statements suggesting he “could go either way” on the issue.


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Arrow 6 replies Author Time Post
Reply GOP’s Electoral Vote Scheme Already On Life Support (Original post)
DonViejo Jan 2013 OP
Proud Liberal Dem Jan 2013 #1
CTyankee Jan 2013 #2
dmallind Jan 2013 #3
demwing Jan 2013 #4
alcibiades_mystery Jan 2013 #5
CTyankee Jan 2013 #6

Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Wed Jan 30, 2013, 09:54 AM

1. Be wary

If the Republicans hold onto their statehouse majorities and/or re-elect these Republican governors in 2014, then IMHO they'll try again- just in time for the 2016 Presidential Election. I think that they are cautious about trying right now before they have to stand for re-election.


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Response to Proud Liberal Dem (Reply #1)

Wed Jan 30, 2013, 10:23 AM

2. I can't see these laws withstanding a court challenge, I really can't.

Do they really want to try this?

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Response to CTyankee (Reply #2)

Wed Jan 30, 2013, 10:36 AM

3. On what grounds?

The constitution specifies that state legislatures get to decide how EVs are assigned.

Two states already split theirs.

The equal protection argument that votes must be treated equally would negate many popular elections, including Senatorial.

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Response to dmallind (Reply #3)

Wed Jan 30, 2013, 10:45 AM

4. State legislatures don't get free reign


For example, a state couldn't assign a EC counts to counties based on race, ethnicity, or gender %s.

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Response to CTyankee (Reply #2)

Wed Jan 30, 2013, 11:01 AM

5. This has been a fake issue from start to finish


Despite the hair-on-fire carrying on of people looking to fill airtime and scare the shit out of liberals, there's no way a scheme that would award electoral votes so contrary to state popular votes would pass muster for either the voting rights act or the equal protection clause. The wailing that the "states get to decide" and that "Maine and Nebraska already do it," falls into the typical trap of technicalism, since it imagines that the courts don't actually gauge particulars and particular harm, but rather make purely technical decisions tra la la. There's only one question you ever need to ask about the Maine and Nebraska cases: have they ever apportioned electoral votes upside down from the state popular vote? Answer for both: nope. And so forth, a fortiori for the ridiculous apportioning splits imagined by the breathless commentators on this. This issue filled airtime. That's all it did. It was a non-starter from go.

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Response to alcibiades_mystery (Reply #5)

Wed Jan 30, 2013, 12:35 PM

6. Thanks. You've made my point better than I ever could because I have no background on this.

It just seemed to me to be such an undemocratic scheme to begin with that the people of the state would erupt or there would be court challenge in some fashion, or BOTH. You've laid out the scenario pretty well.

And the republicans are already in such deep doo-doo, this would just finish them off for good...

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