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.