Why The Republican Plan to Rig the Electoral College Must Be Stopped

In November, President Obama and Democratic governors won tremendous victories against long odds all over the country.  But it wasn’t just our candidates who won – it was our ideas. On issue after issue, from middle class security to women’s health, tax fairness to job creation, voters rejected the extreme, top-down philosophy of today’s Republican Party.

But rather than modernizing their party’s agenda to reflect the views of the overwhelming majority of Americans, Republicans are trying to rig the Electoral College to ensure a Republican wins the White House in 2016. It’s simple – they’re so far out of the mainstream that they need to change the game to win. And they must be stopped.

In Virginia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Ohio, Republican governors and legislators are proposing changes to the electoral vote system that would make it more difficult for Democrats to win the White House. And trust me – if history is any guide, extremely partisan governors in states like Wisconsin and Florida won’t be far behind.

Under their changes, electoral votes would be awarded by congressional district rather the “winner-take-all” system that exists in 48 of the 50 states. In Virginia – despite winning the state by 150,000 votes – President Obama would only have won four of the state’s electoral votes; Mitt Romney would have won nine under the Republican plan. It’s not fair and they know it, which is why they’re trying to sneak it in under the radar.

Republican legislatures have done it before. In the last year alone, lawmakers in Florida and Pennsylvania sneaked through suppressive election laws to prevent voters from exercising their fundamental right to participate in elections. In Virginia, they pushed through a law requiring mandatory ultrasounds for women making personal health decisions. And in Michigan, they cracked down on workers’ rights despite the Republican governor’s claim that such a law wasn’t on his agenda.

Now they’re up their old tricks – but this time, they’re doing it to try to steal the next presidential election. We can’t let them do it and we won’t, but now we need your help. We need to make sure the American people know what Republicans are trying to do and to ensure we have Democratic governors in office who will veto this kind of legislation.

 

Colm O’Comartun

Executive Director

Democratic Governors Association