How Republicans Plan to Rig Elections in 2016
By Ian Millhiser, Josh Israel, ThinkProgress
Last year, Pennsylvania’s Republican Gov. Tom Corbett proposed rigging the Electoral College vote in his state through a plan that would have given the majority of the state’s electors to Romney even after President Obama carried the state. Under Corbett’s plan, the winner of each congressional district within Pennsylvania would receive a single electoral vote, and the overall winner of the state would receive an additional two electoral votes. Had this plan been in place last Tuesday, Mitt Romney would likely have won 13 of the state’s 20 electoral votes, despite losing the state overall by more than five points.
Corbett’s election-rigging plan died, largely because Republican members of Congress in Pennsylvania feared that it would cause the Obama campaign to shift resources into their districts andendanger their own chances of being reelected. Now, however, Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted (R)- who spent much of 2012 inventing ways to prevent pro-Obama votes from being cast or counted– wants to revive this election rigging scheme. According to the Ohio political blog Plunderbund,
Husted’s solution to this perceived problem of Democrats and the national media picking on him? He says we should make Ohio less important in the election by dividing up our electoral votes by Congressional district.
This is huge and should raise giant red flags. Under the current winner-take-all system, Obama won all 18 of Ohio’s electoral votes. Under Husted’s plan, 12 of those 18 electoral votes would be handed to Mitt Romney, the popular vote loser.
As in Pennsylvania, Republicans gerrymandered Ohio within an inch of its life. Even though Obama won Ohio, Republicans carried 12 of 16 seats in Ohio’s House delegation. This gerrymander would have all but ensured that Romney carried the overwhelming majority of Ohio’s electoral votes, regardless of how he performed in the state overall.
Indeed, if the Corbett/Husted plan to rig the Electoral College had been law in several key Republican-controlled states that President Obama won last Tuesday, America would now be looking at a very different future. Assuming that Mitt Romney won every congressional district that elected a Republican House candidate in these key states, the Corbett/Husted plan would have given Romney17 electoral votes in Florida, 9 in Michigan, 12 in Ohio, 13 in Pennsylvania, 8 in Virginia, and 5 in Wisconsin – for a total of 64 additional electoral votes.
Add those 64 votes to the 206 votes Romney won legitimately, and it adds up to exactly 270 – the amount he needed to win the White House.