Thursday, September 15, 2011

Gaming the System

There’s talk in Pennsylvania about changing the way the state counts electoral votes in the presidential election, going from a winner-take-all, which is the way 48 states do it, to a proportional vote based on the outcome by congressional district.

Under the Republican plan, if the GOP presidential nominee carries the GOP-leaning districts but Obama carries the state, the GOP nominee would get 12 electoral votes out of Pennsylvania, but Obama would only get eight—six for winning the blue districts, and two (representing the state’s two senators) for carrying the state. This would have an effect equivalent to flipping a small winner-take-all state—say, Nevada, which has six electoral votes—from blue to red. And Republicans wouldn’t even have to do any extra campaigning or spend any extra advertising dollars to do it.

The Constitution allows states to set up their elections and the choosing of their electors any way they want, so there’s nothing a political party — i.e. the Democrats — can do to stop it. And since Republicans control most of the state legislatures, there’s nothing to stop any state from doing something like this.

Rachel Maddow explains.

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This, along with coming up with draconian rules for voter registration and photo ID requirements that are clearly aimed at people who tend to vote for Democrats, makes me wonder why it is that Republicans feel as if they have to cheat to win. After all, aren’t they always telling us that the majority of Americans are behind them 100%?

HT to Booman.