Electoral CollegeElectoral Reform California InitiativePresident 2012

President 2012: Pennsylvania Considering Change of Electoral College Vote Process

This change or proposed change in how Electoral College votes are determined is not new and was attempted via an initiative in California in 2008. The California initiative failed to make the ballot.

A new proposal is pushing the often-forgotten Electoral College into the spotlight as Pennsylvania officials ponder the state’s role in next year’s presidential race.

Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi is trying to gather support to change the state’s “winner-takes-all” approach for awarding electoral votes. Instead, he’s suggesting that Pennsylvania dole them out based on which candidate wins each of the 18 congressional districts, with the final two going to the contender with the most votes statewide.

So far, the idea has received support from colleagues of the Delaware County Republican in the state House and from Republican Gov. Tom Corbett. But Democrats, who have carried the state in presidential contests since 1992, said the shift would erode Pennsylvania’s clout.

Only two states — Nebraska and Maine — divide their electoral votes instead of giving the whole bloc to the candidate that wins the state’s popular vote. Even for those two states, the piecemeal approach has been a rarity, with Nebraska historically dividing its five votes in the 2008 election, when one went to President Barack Obama.

Most states cling to the winner take all nature of determining where their Electoral College votes go. Maybe changing the system apportioning by Congressional District is MORE fair, but it definitely removes the clout afforded Democrats in urban areas where they rack up large majority votes (particularly in Philadelphia where there is a large African-American population who vote overwhelmingly Democratic).

It changes the game and that is what politics is all about. And, it is within the discretion of the laws of Pennsylvania.

Dave Weigel seems to think this is screwing the Democrats.

Of course, it is.

Elections have consequences, remember?