Pennsylvania Vote-Rigging Takes Center Stage
For over a year, Pennsylvania Republicans have been threatening to anti-democratize the Keystone State and change how we vote for president—from a “winner takes all” system employed by 48 states to an electoral college-based system that would split our votes. And in the current political landscape, such a plan would wholly benefit the GOP, who haven’t won the commonwealth in a national election since 1988. The bill would change the way we vote. Read more about it here.
Some other states had considered such plans, and the national GOP (seeing the writing on the wall) has taken to considering them, for nothing else, to stay alive in a political landscape many in the party stubbornly refuse to acknowledge. All those states, including Michigan, Ohio and Virginia, ended up shutting down the idea. But not Pennsylvania.
On Thursday, State Sen. Dominic Pileggi and 12 other Republicans re-introduced his legislation to the Pennsylvania Legislature that would amend the Pennsylvania Election Code, making it easier for Republicans to take power in federal government. They include Scarnati, Ward, Alloway, Mensch, Eichelberger, Rafferty, Folmer, Erickson, Greenleaf, Tomlinson, Browne and Yaw. And there’s a House version, too.
Not only would the legislation shift Pennsylvania toward a red state of mind, but it would severely limit the last grasps of power held onto by large cities, like Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. Because while President Obama won the state as a whole by 5.4 percent, he lost 13 of 18 Congressional districts due to the way they were written in 2010, when Republicans took massive control of the state due to a Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act backlash. That trend will at least continue through the next election. And being a so-called “swing state,” no presidential candidate could possibly win a large plurality of electoral votes in such a system.
The national pressed has noticed. And so has the national Democratic party. They’ve been on high alert, sending out emails throughout the week showing articles from Think Progress, Talking Points Memo and the Washington Post with the subject header: “Seriously? Republicans are STILL pursuing schemes to rig future elections?” And as the Post notes of the plan, “it would reward candidates for winning land, not people.”
[Note: This post has been updated.]