GOP eyes new election laws

BIV

I'm Biv Dick Black, the Over Poster.
Apr 22, 2002
78,490
27,315
898
Seattle
#1
Douchey, bias article...but interesting.

GOP eyes new election laws

By STEVE PEOPLES | Associated Press – 4 hrs ago

  • View Photo
    Associated Press/J. Scott Applewhite, File - FILE - In this Aug. 28, 2012, file photo, Chairman of the Republican National Convention Reince Priebus is looking down a teen girl's shirt in the front row.
BOSTON (AP) — 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.

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus endorsed the idea this week, and other Republican leaders support it, too, suggesting that the effort may be gaining momentum. There are other signs that Republican state legislators, governors and veteran political strategists are seriously considering making the shift as the GOP looks to rebound from presidential candidate Mitt Romney's Electoral College shellacking and the demographic changes that threaten the party's long-term political prospects.

"It's something that a lot of states that have been consistently blue that are fully controlled red ought to be looking at," Priebus told the Wisconsin Journal Sentinel, emphasizing that each state must decide for itself.

Democrats are outraged at the potential change.

Obama won the popular vote with 65.9 million votes, or 51.1 percent, to Romney's 60.9 million and won the Electoral College by a wide margin, 332-206 electoral votes. It's unclear whether he would have been re-elected under the new system, depending upon how many states adopted the change.

While some Republican officials warn of a political backlash, GOP lawmakers in Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania are already lining up behind proposals that would allocate electoral votes by congressional district or something similar.

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder told The Associated Press on Tuesday that he "could go either way" on the change and doesn't plan to push it. But he said it's a reasonable issue to debate and that he prefers that leaders discuss it well before the next presidential election.

"It could be done in a thoughtful (way) over the next couple years and people can have a thoughtful discussion," Snyder said.

Republican leaders in the Michigan Statehouse have yet to decide whether to embrace the change there. But state Rep. Peter Lund, a Republican who introduced a bill to change the allocation system two years ago, said some Republicans might be more receptive to his bill this year following the election.

"We never really pushed it before," he said, adding that the bill wasn't designed to help one party more than the other.

Democrats aren't convinced. And they warned of political consequences for Republicans who back the shift — particularly those governors up for re-election in 2014, which include the governors of Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, among others.

"This is nothing more than election-rigging," said Michigan Democratic Chairman Mark Brewer.

Each state has the authority to shape its own election law. And in at least seven states — Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Florida and North Carolina — Republicans control both chambers of the state legislature and the governor's office.

Already, Maine and Nebraska have moved away from a winner-take-all system to one that allocates electoral votes based on congressional district.

"This is a concept that's got a lot of possibility and a lot of potential," said Washington-based Republican strategist Phil Musser, acknowledging that the debate would "incite different levels of partisan acrimony." Musser also predicted that more pressing economic issues would likely take priority in most Republican-led statehouses.

In Pennsylvania, Senate Republican leader Dominic Pileggi this week renewed his call for the Republican-controlled Legislature to revamp the way it awards electoral votes by using a method based on the popular vote that would have given Romney eight of the state's 20 votes.

Democrats quickly criticized it as partisan scheme.

"It is difficult to find the words to describe just how evil this plan is," said Pennsylvania state Sen. Daylin Leach, a Democrat. "It is an obscene scheme to cheat by rigging the elections,"

Gov. Tom Corbett, who supported a related proposal from Pileggi last year, had not seen the new plan and could not say whether he supports the new version, the Republican governor's spokesman Kevin Harley said.

In Wisconsin, Republican Gov. Scott Walker has said that changing how electoral votes are allocated was an "interesting idea" but that it's not one of his priorities nor has he decided whether he supports such a change.

It's gotten a lukewarm reception in the Republican-controlled Legislature as well. No proposal has been introduced yet and no lawmaker has announced any plans to do so, but the state Assembly speaker, Robin Vos, first proposed the change back in 2007.

"I am open to that idea," Vos said in December as lawmakers prepared for the start of their session. "But I would have to hear all the arguments."

All 10 of the state's Electoral College votes went to Obama last fall under the current system. If they were awarded based on the new system, the votes would have been evenly split between Obama and Romney.

Democratic Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett sent an email plea urging people to sign a petition against the change: "We can't sit silently by as they try to manipulate the democratic process for political advantage," Barrett wrote. "We can't let them attack the very democratic institutions and rights that others have sacrificed so much to gain — just because they don't believe they can win in a fair election fight."

So far, Republicans have only advocated for the change in states that have supported Democrats in recent elections. The view is predictably different in states where the Republican nominee is a cinch to win.

"The Electoral College has served the country quite well," said Louisiana GOP Chairman Roger Villere, who doubles as a national party vice chairman.

He continued: "This is coming from states where it might be an advantage, but I'm worried about what it means down the road. This is a system that has worked. That doesn't mean we can't talk about changes, but we have to be very careful about any actions we might take."
http://news.yahoo.com/gop-eyes-elec...RhaWQDBHBzdGNhdANob21lBHB0A3NlY3Rpb25z;_ylv=3
 

BIV

I'm Biv Dick Black, the Over Poster.
Apr 22, 2002
78,490
27,315
898
Seattle
#3
Nope.

But I like the idea. I think I said in another thread that they should hand out the electoral votes separately. Far more fair for the voter.

I'm not sure I like it by percentage though. The electoral votes should be handed out by geography, not population.
 

Don the Radio Guy

G-Bb-A-D
Donator
Mar 30, 2006
69,628
5,081
568
Wyoming
#5
The states can award their electoral votes however they want. I don't mind the system the way it is, but if states want to split votes up, that's also fine.
 

Neon

ネオン
Donator
Mar 23, 2008
51,776
18,523
513
Kingdom of Charis
#6
The states can award their electoral votes however they want. I don't mind the system the way it is, but if states want to split votes up, that's also fine.
Yeah I learned this recently. Any state can change its own laws and divvy electoral votes any way it wants, basically. They all just decided on a "winner takes all" system. I guess it favors the stronger party, whichever it is at the time, so both parties feel comfortable with it like that.
 

CousinDave

Registered User
Dec 11, 2007
25,297
198
393
Ohio
#7
Maine & Nebraska already award their electoral votes by congressional districts with the winner of the popular vote getting the 2 electoral votes for the senators
 

Party Rooster

Unleash The Beast
Apr 27, 2005
40,304
7,454
438
The Inland Empire State
#8
1. Get majority in the state legislature.
2. Gerrymander the districts to favor your party.
3. Change electoral college rules based on those new districts.
4. ?????
5. Profit!!!
 

Neon

ネオン
Donator
Mar 23, 2008
51,776
18,523
513
Kingdom of Charis
#9
Maine & Nebraska already award their electoral votes by congressional districts with the winner of the popular vote getting the 2 electoral votes for the senators
The only problem with doing that stuff nationally is that redistricting will become the most powerful tool in deciding elections. It's already a pretty powerful tool, but this will make it insane.
 

whiskeyguy

PR representative for Drunk Whiskeyguy.
Donator
Jan 12, 2010
36,350
21,963
398
Northern California
#10
I always thought dispersing the electoral votes by percentage of popular votes was the way to go. In the last election that represents ~23 electoral votes that would have gone Republican just in California. It just seems wrong that those voters aren't represented.
 

Party Rooster

Unleash The Beast
Apr 27, 2005
40,304
7,454
438
The Inland Empire State
#11
I always thought dispersing the electoral votes by percentage of popular votes was the way to go. In the last election that represents ~23 electoral votes that would have gone Republican just in California. It just seems wrong that those voters aren't represented.
Then you have to think of all the red states that would have lost electoral votes to Obama. Might as well go with a straight popular vote then. And before anyone cries "then we'll have NY and California picking our presidents," they already go blue anyway.

The thing is, I don't think the party leaders really want to scrap the system the way it is, it would spread their resources out too much if Democrats actually had to campaign in blue states and Republicans had to in red states. They like being able to pick the 7 or 8 "battleground" states and just hammer them relentlessly. I feel sorry for people that live in those states, they must be constantly bombarded by messages the three months leading up to an election.
 

whiskeyguy

PR representative for Drunk Whiskeyguy.
Donator
Jan 12, 2010
36,350
21,963
398
Northern California
#12
Then you have to think of all the red states that would have lost electoral votes to Obama. Might as well go with a straight popular vote then. And before anyone cries "then we'll have NY and California picking our presidents," they already go blue anyway.

The thing is, I don't think the party leaders really want to scrap the system the way it is, it would spread their resources out too much if Democrats actually had to campaign in blue states and Republicans had to in red states. They like being able to pick the 7 or 8 "battleground" states and just hammer them relentlessly. I feel sorry for people that live in those states, they must be constantly bombarded by messages the three months leading up to an election.
Yes, I'm fine with Republicans in red states losing electoral votes. It just makes more sense to me if we more closely represented the voters. Republicans would have picked up 23 electoral votes in the last election if they were distributed that way... that's a swing state just right there. And yes it's ridiculous they only have to campaign in a dozen states.
 

MayrMeninoCrash

Liberal Psycopath
Dec 9, 2004
24,337
8,515
693
Silverdale, WA
#14
Why doesn't the GOP concentrate on changing their platform to attract more voters rather than having to rig the system in their favor?
 

gleet

What's black and white and red all over?
Jul 24, 2005
22,543
13,852
608
Idaho
#15
Give each county one electoral vote. :D
 

whiskeyguy

PR representative for Drunk Whiskeyguy.
Donator
Jan 12, 2010
36,350
21,963
398
Northern California
#16
Why doesn't the GOP concentrate on changing their platform to attract more voters rather than having to rig the system in their favor?
Yup... it's just a Republican thing.

Wasn't there a certain mild commotion when Democrats were unhappy with the results of this system a while back?
 

mascan42

Registered User
Aug 26, 2002
18,725
5,600
768
Ronkonkoma, Long Island
#19
Nope.

But I like the idea. I think I said in another thread that they should hand out the electoral votes separately. Far more fair for the voter.

I'm not sure I like it by percentage though. The electoral votes should be handed out by geography, not population.
Not sure where you're going with this . . . you mean split the votes evenly among all the states, like the Senate instead of like the House?

Also, I find it hilarious that the Dems are acting like this is the worst thing ever in history, when they wanted the same thing after the 2000 election.
 

Don the Radio Guy

G-Bb-A-D
Donator
Mar 30, 2006
69,628
5,081
568
Wyoming
#22
why can't it just go by the popular vote?
Because then small states would have even less say than they do now. The entire state of South Dakota's vote could be voided by Fresno. Chicago could nullify about half the states in the country. Do you want the fine people of Detroit, Chicago and New York City picking every president?
 

kidconnor

55gallon hog
Mar 16, 2005
5,339
1,128
678
brooklyn
#23
Because then small states would have even less say than they do now. The entire state of South Dakota's vote could be voided by Fresno. Chicago could nullify about half the states in the country. Do you want the fine people of Detroit, Chicago and New York City picking every president?

No.. but I would feel like my vote counts, coming from Ny and all..
 
Dec 25, 2005
10,005
172
513
NJ
#24
Discussions or proposals like this come up after every election in one way or another. I don't see any reason for outrage.

Handing electoral votes out by congressional district is ok with me.
 

Party Rooster

Unleash The Beast
Apr 27, 2005
40,304
7,454
438
The Inland Empire State
#25
Discussions or proposals like this come up after every election in one way or another. I don't see any reason for outrage.

Handing electoral votes out by congressional district is ok with me.
I wouldn't mind the county system. Too much gerrymandering of the congressional districts to keep it fair that way.