Watch Out, Pennsylvania! The GOP’s Got A New Election Rigging Plan

Map of Pennsylvania with red "gerrymandering" salamanderWere you psyched when Virginia’s GOP got caught red-handed trying to rig Virginia’s electoral votes last week? Did you actually think Republicans had finally grown a conscience just because GOP governors in Ohio and Michigan backed away from similar schemes? If so, don’t hold your breath. Republicans are more determined to rig the electoral college than ever. Ian Millhiser from Think Progress reports that Pennsylvania Senate Majority Leader, Domini Pileggi, has cooked up a whole new plan to prevent Democrats from winning future presidential elections. Mwahaha!

It all boils down to the Republicans’ eeeeeee-ville and diabolical RedMaps (REDistricting MAjority Project) strategy, which has – so far – enabled them to: (1) take control of state legislatures by backing GOP candidates in under-the-radar elections; (2) use their new majorities to redraw legislative and congressional district boundaries; and, (3) ‘win’ the U.S. House of Representatives, despite losing the majority vote. Now, they’re moving on to Step 4, which is to exploit their control of state legislatures to change electoral college rules so Democrats can never, ever win the White House again. If you don’t believe me, read this report from the Republican State Leadership’s Redistricting Majority Project. This isn’t some top-secret document dredged up from the dank and putrid depths of Mordor by Jimmy Carter’s grandson. They’re so danged PROUD of their clever plan to muzzle the voice of the people, they’ve published it on their Web site for all to see.

It turns out that GOP swing state leaders may have only rejected Republican National Committee Chair Rancid Priapus’ Reince Priebus’ original electoral vote scam because it might backfire on them. Awarding electoral votes proportionally by congressional district (to give more weight to the more sparsely-populated – and conservative – rural districts) would make Democrats focus more heavily on these districts, which could result in legislators losing their no-longer-safe seats. Apparently, the GOP’s odious platform would even turn off their rural conservative supporters if they ever found out what was actually in it.

According to John Finnerty from the New Castle News, Pileggi plans to introduce legislation that would simply award Pennsylvania’s electoral college votes based on a percentage of the popular vote from each district. Pileggi’s spokesperson, Erik Arneson, explained that his boss had “decided that it makes sense to completely separate the issue of electoral distribution from the issue of how congressional districts are drawn.” At first glance, this seems fair; Finnerty writes that Obama would have won even more electoral votes from Pennsylvania under this plan. But – and there’s always a big “BUT” – if only swing states like Virginia, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, Florida, and Pennsylvania pass similar legislation, while other states retain the same winner-takes-all electoral college formulas, Republicans will get more electoral votes overall, and Democratic candidates will have zero chance of ever winning the presidency.

So, the next time someone tells you the GOP’s latest electoral college scheme reasonable, ask them why Republicans never recommend choosing our presidents with the popular vote, and ditching the electoral college entirely?

Elisabeth Parker Elisabeth Parker is a writer, Web designer, mom, political junkie, and dilettante. Come visit her at ElisabethParker.Com, “like” her on facebook, or follow her on Twitter. For more articles by Elisabeth, click here.