Republican Plot To Rig Electoral College No Longer A Threat In Most States

Last year the big fear was that unrestricted contributions from corporations and conservative groups would give the Republicans an advantage. It turned out that lots of small donors matched the big donors, and a majority of voters did not fall for Republican misinformation and propaganda. This year the fear has been that the Republicans would change the rules in states where they control the state government to rig the electoral college so that they could win presidential elections with a minority of votes. If they had passed such a plan to choose electoral votes based upon gerrymandered Congressional districts, Mitt Romney would now be president and the American experiment in democracy would be over.

Fortunately the proposal is not looking like it will pass in most states. Even some Republicans realize that a plan to openly steal elections in this way is not a good idea (regardless of whether this is due to moral qualms or fearing a backlash). Politico reports:

In the majority of states where such measures are being considered – Virginia, Florida, Ohio and Michigan, all states that voted for President Obama in 2012 but have Republican-controlled legislatures – proposals to split Electoral College votes proportionally have either been defeated or are strongly opposed by officials in those states.

The only remaining states are Pennsylvania, where an electoral vote change was unsuccessful in 2011, and Wisconsin, where Gov. Scott Walker has expressed hesitance about any changes to the system.

In Michigan, Governor Rick Snyder has come out against the proposal, but didn’t he once oppose changing Michigan into a right to work state?
House Speaker Will Weatherford in Florida objected to the proposal with this comment:

“To me, that’s like saying in a football game, ‘We should have only three quarters, because we were winning after three quarters and they beat us in the fourth,” he said. “I don’t think we need to change the rules of the game, I think we need to get better.”

Some Republicans might also oppose this for strategic reasons. If their fortunes change so that the can win again in Virginia, Florida, and Ohio, the plan would backfire, giving Democrats some electoral votes as opposed to Republicans taking all. Even Republicans in currently safe districts might see this as a negative as it would give Democrats reason to concentrate harder on every Congressional district, possibly helping down ticket candidates pull an upset.