New Legislation May Break Up PA’s Electoral Votes

After a rather crushing defeat in the last presidential election, the Republican National Committee is scheming for ways to win more electoral votes come 2016.

In an interview with Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel last month, RNC Chairman Reince Priebus called for Democratic states to be the target of a new initiative that would split states’ electoral votes, much in the same way Maine and Nebraska already operate .

Pennsylvania Republicans have now taken their marching orders, and Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi plans to introduce legislation that would allow Pennsylvania’s electoral votes to be awarded proportionally. New Castle News of western PA reports that Pileggi’s plan would allocate a portion of PA’s 20 electoral votes based simply on PA’s popular vote. Similar plans being introduced in other states would actually derive counts based on popular vote results for each congressional district.

Last election, President Obama won 52% of PA’s popular vote, which, under Pileggi’s plan, would have given him 12 electoral votes instead of 20. Had Pennsylvania adopted legislation that awarded votes based by congressional district, Romney would have actually received more electoral votes for PA than Obama, despite the fact that Obama won the popular vote.

Of course, many critics claim that carving up the vote is an unabashed attempt by Republicans to swindle the next presidential election. As most of you are probably aware, Democratic candidates for the House actually received more votes than Republican House candidates in the 2012 election. Yet, through widespread gerrymandering, Republicans were able to maintain control of the House of Representatives.

Though his plan should be introduced sometime soon, Pileggi’s spokesman, Erik Arneson, has stated that, “This is not something that is a top priority for him at the start of this session… rather, he views it as an important idea to discuss as part of the ongoing debate about the Electoral College and whether it should be changed or even eliminated.”

Source: Think Progress, New Castle News | Photo: AP

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