Watch Out, Michigan! The New GOP Election Rigging Plan’s Coming

Red 'gerrymander' crawling across Michigan

Michigan state’s Republican party narrowly voted State Chair Bobby Schostak a second two-year term at this Saturday’s convention. But who cares about some guy we’ve never heard of?  More importantly, Michigan’s GOP resoundingly approved a devious strategy that would help rig electoral votes for future presidential elections. According to Gary Heinlein’s report for the Detroit News, the proposal passed 1,370-132.  Now that electoral vote rigging is officially part of the Michigan GOP’s strategy, Governor Rick Snyder and other Republican leaders can no longer back gingerly away from the stench of this eeeeeee-ville plan, like they did when Virginia Republicans got caught sneakily passing similar legislation during the presidential inauguration.

The proposal was written by State House Representative Pete Lund, who has previously — and unsuccessfully — introduced a bill that would “reform” the current winner-takes-all electoral college system. His new scheme would divide 14 of the state’s 16 electoral votes based on which presidential candidate wins in each congressional district. Since the GOP went to ridiculous lengths to gerrymander congressional districts in their favor back in 2010 — particularly in rural areas, which have lower populations and tend to vote conservatively — this would unfairly favor Republican presidential candidates and block the popular vote. Had this scheme been in place during the 2012 election, Mitt Romney would have captured 9 of the 16 electoral votes that went to Obama.

If all 50 states switched to awarding electoral votes proportionally, a Democratic candidate would probably still win the next presidential election. But if only swing states (many of which lean Democratic, but have all their Democratic voters clustered in heavily populated urban districts) enact electoral college “reforms,” Democrats will have no chance of winning a presidential election ever again.

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As I’ve previously reported (here and here), this is part of a recently revealed long-time GOP strategy (code-named the REdistricting MAjority Project — or  “RedMaps” for short) for (1) funding low-profile, state-level elections in 2008-2010 to gain control of state legislatures in swing states like Virginia, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin; (2) using control of state legislatures to redraw legislative district maps for state and national elections — thereby ensuring that Republicans will always win, and hence be disproportionately represented in their state legislatures, and in the US House of Representatives; and (3) using the gerrymandered district maps to force changes in how the Electoral College elects our president … especially in crucial swing states like Virginia, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin.

A similar bill passed in Virginia, but was then shot down by the Virginia Senate’s Privileges and Elections Committee in January. Yet, Republicans are already trying to pass another electoral rigging plan in Pennsylvania, and Lund plans to re-introduce his bill this year.  So, the next time someone tells you the GOP’s latest electoral college scheme is reasonable, ask them why Republicans never recommend choosing our presidents with the popular vote, and ditching the electoral college entirely?

Here are related articles I’ve written with background information about the Republican’s latest strategy for overriding the popular vote:



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