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Republican Election-Rigging in Virginia and Beyond

from Think Progress

NATIONAL REPUBLICANS who continue to be frustrated that the American voter won’t reward their extremism with handing them the national popular vote have started systematically to take voters out of the equation. It’s been making the news for days in Virginia.

American Progress has released a document titled Grand Theft Election.

How the Republican election-rigging plan works

This Republican Plan would reallocate electoral votes so that a maximum of two electoral votes would go to the overall winner of several key blue states. The lion’s share of the state’s electors would then be allocated one by one to the presidential candidate who won each individual congressional district. (see Figure 1) Thus, in a blue state such as Michigan–which President Obama won by nearly 10 points in 2012–Gov. Romney would have received 9 of the state’s 16 electoral votes because he received more votes than the president did in nine of the state’s congressional districts. In other words, the Republican candidate would receive more than half of the state’s electoral votes despite being overwhelmingly defeated in the state as a whole.

Cashing in on gerrymandering
The Republican Plan does not just apply one set of rules in red states and another set of rules in blue states–it also takes advantage of profoundly gerrymandered congressional maps in order to stack the deck even more for Republican presidential candidates. In 2012 Democratic House candidates received nearly 1.4 million more votes than their Republican counterparts. Yet Republican candidates currently hold a 33-seat majority in the House, due in large part to the fact that Republican state legislatures controlled the redistricting process in several key states. Indeed, Republicans were so successful in their efforts to lock in their control of the House of Representatives through gerrymandering that Democratic House candidates would have needed to win the national popular vote by more than 7 percentage points in order to receive the barest majority in the House. Republicans aren’t particularly shy about touting the success of their gerrymanders either: The Republican State Leadership Committee released an extensive memo boasting about how they used gerrymanders to lock down GOP majorities in the House.

There has been a need to end the Electoral College for years. The current plan by the Republican Party to use the Electoral College to rig elections makes it an urgent priority.

From Media Matters, with embedded links to information available at their site, and much more on Republican vote-rigging as well.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

The Virginia redistricting bill could put Republican lawmakers in position to win 27 seats in the state Senate at the next election, which would give them a veto-proof supermajority in the chamber in contrast to the current 20-20 tie.

The redistricting bill could also displace almost 3 million Virginia residents into new districts.

Due to many Republican state legislatures controlling the redistricting process, Republicans in Congress currently hold a 33-seat majority in the House, even though Democratic House candidates received nearly 1.4 million more votes than their Republican counterparts in 2012.

In fact, the Republican State Leadership Committee has openly bragged about how they used gerrymandering of voter districts to lock down GOP majorities in the House.

Another elections bill that Virginia’s Republican legislators are trying to push through would alter the electoral college so that the winner of the statewide popular vote would no longer get all the state’s electoral votes, as is the case everywhere else except for two states. Analysis shows that the proposal would favor the GOP presidential candidate.

In fact, if the Republican legislators’ electoral college scheme had been in place in 2012, President Obama wouldn’t have won the state — he would’ve gotten only 4 out of the state’s 13 electoral votes despite winning the popular vote.

These proposals pending in the Virginia statehouse are part of a national trend. As the Associated Press reported, “After back-to-back presidential losses, Republicans in key states want to change the rules to make it easier for them to win.”

Making it harder for Americans to even cast a ballot isn’t new to Republican politicians, either. Since President Obama was elected, many Republican-governed states have enacted new laws and restrictions that deliberately make it harder for people to register and vote, such as purges of voters off the voter registration rolls and photo ID laws.

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13 Responses to Republican Election-Rigging in Virginia and Beyond

  1. fangio January 25, 2013 at 12:52 am #

    So when does a political party become a criminal enterprise, and when do they stand accused of subverting the Constitution and pay a price?

    • secularhumanizinevoluter January 25, 2013 at 5:29 am #

      STOP IT! Stop making me have to pick up my jaw from the ground and say I agree!!!!

  2. Cujo359 January 25, 2013 at 12:52 am #

    I’d like to propose a bold new strategy for the national Democratic Party to combat this problem. Why don’t they, over the next six years or so, pass new legislation and execute it in such a way that they make the country better. Then maybe progressives would give a crap whether we can vote for them or not.

    The sad irony that we see this on the same day that we see an article about how the Senate Democrats have decided that they’re OK with another session of non-accomplishment in the face of rising poverty, rising CO2 levels, and a whole lot of other pressing matters. No, I don’t just blame Harry Reid – someone made him the Majority Leader, and those same somebodies can make someone else Majority Leader if they’re unhappy with how he’s doing his job.

    So there it is, and I can even propose a bumper sticker slogan – “Make us give a crap”. At some point, fear of The Other Guys isn’t going to do it, and I think we’ve about reached that point. There are at least a dozen states that are now far more Republican than they ought to be thanks to this program the GOP has been implementing. If you want us to value our votes, Democrats, maybe you should offer a real alternative.

  3. jjamele January 25, 2013 at 8:24 am #

    The GOP proposal actually WOULD be a positive step away from the Electoral College, if it were not for Gerrymandering. To rig districts in order to ensure the outcome for one branch of government is bad enough- to then use those rigged districts to ensure the outcome of ANOTHER branch of government takes us another step toward becoming a Banana Republic.

    Get rid of Gerrymandering and make the drawing of districts 100 percent nonpartisan (like they do in Iowa) and we can talk about using district votes to allocate the electoral college votes. Until then, this is beyond sleazy and about as Undemocratic as you could get.

  4. ladywalker68 January 25, 2013 at 9:22 am #

    If anything needs to be done with the Electoral College it is to get rid of it altogether and just go by the popular vote.

    Obama won that in 2012, as did Al Gore in 2000.

    Gee, Republicans, the message is clear, but you just don’t want to listen to it.

    • ladywalker68 January 25, 2013 at 10:12 am #

      Adding-this is when the Second Amendment makes sense to me: So we can fight against tyranny. I have never owned a gun, but the Republicans have me thinking maybe I ought to go get me one those fancy assault weapons in case they try to illegally commandeer control of the government when the majority of Americans do not agree with their Neanderthal beliefs.

      • spincitysd January 25, 2013 at 1:39 pm #

        Please, no, Ladywalker68, you will only get yourself pointlessly killed. If you pick up an AR-15, you are now playing their game. They want a society where force major is the final word. Understand that these people are Authoritarians perhaps even proto fascist. They want to resort violence, look at how the “pro life” brigade acts, intimidation, abuse, threats, property damage, bombing, and shootings. No, if it comes to pushback, normal people will have to resort to massive non-violent civil disobedience. You have to seize the moral high ground and then take your lumps. OWS is learning this the hard way. The elites have the power, they have the all the cards when force major is involved. They have the cops, the National Guard, the Army. Pick up a gun and you loose Ladywalker68, you loose before you even begin.

    • mvy January 25, 2013 at 6:26 pm #

      To abolish the Electoral College would need a constitutional amendment, and could be stopped by states with as little as 3% of the U.S. population.

      The National Popular Vote bill would guarantee the Presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states (and DC).

      Every vote, everywhere, would be politically relevant and equal in presidential elections. No more distorting and divisive red and blue state maps. There would no longer be a handful of ‘battleground’ states where voters and policies are more important than those of the voters in 80% of the states that now are just ‘spectators’ and ignored after the conventions.

      When the bill is enacted by states with a majority of the electoral votes— enough electoral votes to elect a President (270 of 538), all the electoral votes from the enacting states would be awarded to the presidential candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states and DC.

      The presidential election system that we have today was not designed, anticipated, or favored by the Founding Fathers but, instead, is the product of decades of evolutionary change precipitated by the emergence of political parties and enactment by 48 states of winner-take-all laws, not mentioned, much less endorsed, in the Constitution.

      The bill uses the power given to each state by the Founding Fathers in the Constitution to change how they award their electoral votes for President. Historically, virtually all of the major changes in the method of electing the President, including ending the requirement that only men who owned substantial property could vote and 48 current state-by-state winner-take-all laws, have come about by state legislative action.

      In Gallup polls since 1944, only about 20% of the public has supported the current system of awarding all of a state’s electoral votes to the presidential candidate who receives the most votes in each separate state (with about 70% opposed and about 10% undecided). Support for a national popular vote is strong among Republicans, Democrats, and Independent voters, as well as every demographic group in virtually every state surveyed in recent polls in recent closely divided Battleground states: CO — 68%, FL — 78%, IA 75%, MI — 73%, MO — 70%, NH — 69%, NV — 72%, NM— 76%, NC — 74%, OH — 70%, PA — 78%, VA — 74%, and WI — 71%; in Small states (3 to 5 electoral votes): AK — 70%, DC — 76%, DE — 75%, ID — 77%, ME — 77%, MT — 72%, NE 74%, NH — 69%, NV — 72%, NM — 76%, OK — 81%, RI — 74%, SD — 71%, UT — 70%, VT — 75%, WV — 81%, and WY — 69%; in Southern and Border states: AR — 80%, KY- 80%, MS — 77%, MO — 70%, NC — 74%, OK — 81%, SC — 71%, TN — 83%, VA — 74%, and WV — 81%; and in other states polled: AZ — 67%, CA — 70%, CT — 74%, MA — 73%, MN — 75%, NY — 79%, OR — 76%, and WA — 77%. Americans believe that the candidate who receives the most votes should win.

      The bill has passed 31 state legislative chambers in 21 states with 243 electoral votes. The bill has been enacted by 9 jurisdictions with 132 electoral votes – 49% of the 270 necessary to go into effect.

      NationalPopularVote
      Follow National Popular Vote on Facebook via NationalPopularVoteInc

  5. Ramsgate January 25, 2013 at 12:21 pm #

    Cornered rats fight the hardest. But at least they are doing something. They are thinking of ways to advance their cause and to fortify themselves, while the hapless Dems stand on the sidelines and whine and scream about how unfair they are. Why don’t we EVER hear about some clever move by the DNC or the DSCC or Debbie Wasserman whoever, that has the Republicans up in arms and screaming bloody murder? What do these people DO? Why are they always being blindsided? It’s their job to anticipate the opposition and to plan ahead.

    In the meantime, the Repugs keep chipping away, the labor unions are just about dead, although the country is pro abortion, they are being outlawed in state after state, its becoming harder to vote, and now they are rigging elections. And when that no longer works in to their best satisfaction they will think of something else. They are always thinking and the Democrats are always reacting to their evil machinations.

    • ladywalker68 January 25, 2013 at 12:26 pm #

      I have to agree. The Democrats are enablers.

      • ladywalker68 January 25, 2013 at 12:27 pm #

        Adding..Where is Democratic Leadership in fighting this? Oh, I forgot, Democratic-Leadership is an oxymoron.

        • secularhumanizinevoluter January 25, 2013 at 12:44 pm #

          “I’m not a member of any organized political party…I’m a Democrat”

    • jinbaltimore January 25, 2013 at 1:15 pm #

      The Democratic Party, to borrow from an old Robin Williams joke about British Police, the party of “Stop! Or we’ll yell stop again!”

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