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Millhiser writes: "So there is always a danger that Republicans could rapidly flip-flop on election-rigging if it looks likely a Democrat will win the White House again in 2016."

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett (R), one of the architects of the Republican election-rigging plan. (photo: AP)
Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett (R), one of the architects of the Republican election-rigging plan. (photo: AP)



3 Reasons the Election Rigging Scandal Is Not Dead

By Ian Millhiser, ThinkProgress

31 January 13

 

wo weeks ago, Republican National Committee Chair Reince Priebus called upon "states that have been consistently blue that are fully controlled red" to consider a Republican plan to rig future presidential races. Under the GOP plan, these blue states would stop awarding electoral votes to the winner of the state as a whole, and instead would award them one-by-one to the winner of each congressional district. Because these districts are highly gerrymandered to favor Republicans, the election-rigging plan ensures that Republicans will win the overwhelming majority of the electoral votes in these blue states regardless of how the people of those states cast their votes.

Six states potentially fit Priebus' description of a blue state that is currently controlled by Republicans - Florida, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin. To date, senior Republicans in four of these states have either voted down the plan or indicated that it will not be taken up in the first place, and the governor of a fifth state has expressed concerns about the plan:

So the Republican Plan is officially dead in one state and lacks the support of essential lawmakers in three states. Of the two states where it is decidedly still alive - Pennsylvania and Wisconsin - the top Republican in one of those states says he has concerns about the plan. Nevertheless, supporters of democracy should not break out the champagne yet because there are three reasons to be frightened that the plan could reemerge.

The first is that the plan is still alive and well in Pennsylvania, which has voted for the Democratic presidential candidate in every single election for more than two decades. Both Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett (R) and state Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi (R) support rigging the Electoral College.

The second is that a slightly modified verson of the plan could still reemerge in the states where it appears dead. Indeed, Pileggi already proposed modifying the plan in Pennsylvania to allocate electoral votes proportionally according to the total popular vote in the state, rather than by congressional district. This version of the election-rigging plan would award less electoral votes to Republicans, because it does not take advantage of gerrymandering, but it would still put a rule in place only in blue states, while leaving red states like Texas free to give all their electoral votes to the Republican candidate.

The third reason to be concerned is that the mere fact that a Republican elected official says they are not interested in pursuing a partisan power grab today does not mean that they will not back it tomorrow. Gov. Snyder swore up and down that he was not interested in pursuing a so-called "right to work" law in Michigan, only to sign this anti-labor law into effect late last year. So there is always a danger that Republicans could rapidly flip-flop on election-rigging if it looks likely a Democrat will win the White House again in 2016.

So the GOP election-rigging plan could, to borrow from Justice Scalia, still emerge "like some ghoul in a late-night horror movie that repeatedly sits up in its grave and shuffles abroad, after being repeatedly killed and buried." For the moment, however, this ghoul appears far less likely to devour American democracy than it did two weeks ago.

 

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+6 # Rita Walpole Ague 2013-01-31 09:36
Come on folks, let's take off the blinders and recognize crippling by MSD (manipulation, spin, distraction).

Is putting strongly into place 'All entitled must be able to easily cast their vote, and EACH & EVERY VOTE MUST BE HONESTLY COUNTED, then strongly enforcing same, the #1, most important step we the sheeple need to take, in order to begin to bring about sooooooo needed change? Yes. Makes sense, does it not?
 
 
+27 # BradFromSalem 2013-01-31 10:57
ritague,

You make total sense and it appears the Republicans have decided that pushing an agenda of blocking voters from voting or manipulating the counts around the edges is not enough for them. After all it didn't get them the Senate or the Presidency. What did work, was violating the premise of 1 person 1 vote. This, via gerrymandering is what saved their House majority. It is also the premise they violate by altering the Electoral votes to reflect gerrymandered districts.
 
 
-13 # edge 2013-01-31 14:51
You mean Democrats right?

Gerry-mander

Governor Gerry signed a bill that redistricted Massachusetts to benefit his Democratic-Repu blican Party. When mapped, one of the contorted districts in the Boston area was said to resemble the shape of a salamander.
 
 
+2 # BradFromSalem 2013-02-01 07:52
Thanks for the history lesson. Eldridge Gerry was from the town next to where I live, how's that for irrelevant history, because it as important as noting that Democrats invented gerrymandering, not the last election, or the last census. But over 150 years ago.
 
 
+3 # MJnevetS 2013-02-01 08:19
Quoting edge:
You mean Democrats right?
The Democratic-Repu blican Party did NOT become Democrats. It was the Anti-Federalist party started by Thomas Jefferson and James Madison. EVENTUALLY, it split into the Democratic and National Republican Party; that was followed by the Whig Party, whose members eventually founded the modern Republican Party. So to say it was 1st done by 'Democrats' is like saying Republicans fling feces. Sure their progenitors (i.e. monkeys) did it, but it ain't quite the same. After all hundreds of thousands of years back there was a split that led to modern man with monkeys remaining the less evolved brutish cousin...JUST LIKE THE DEMOCRATIC-REPU BLICAN PARTY!
 
 
0 # Cabell 2013-01-31 09:50
Watch, and learn:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dXBA59pTBh8&list=UU2vH_tmrqUEYoICOA_AX1xQ
 
 
-53 # edge 2013-01-31 11:17
This is NOT election rigging so grow up!!!

Two States vote this way already.
It also is much closer to the Polular vote than the current system is.
OH, it is NOT a decision that Congress can make anyway, it is a State issue.
Any or Every State makes this decision and they can do it if they see fit...like Maine and Nebraska.
 
 
+28 # T4D 2013-01-31 11:54
"Grown Ups" all prefer the Popular Vote for all elections.
 
 
-42 # edge 2013-01-31 12:28
Quoting T4D:
"Grown Ups" all prefer the Popular Vote for all elections.


We do NOT use the popular vote so GROW UP!
Voting by Congressional district would be MUCH closer to the popular vote than we have now...
SO WHAT'S YOU PROBLEM!!
 
 
+23 # Vacquero 2013-01-31 16:12
My problem (and I suspect T4D's too) is that this plan is not intended to reinforce the power of the popular vote. It is intended to overturn the popular vote.

As it might well have done in this last election. It is a blatant, partisan, and transparently unethical attempt to make sure that a Democrat cannot obtain the White House, even if he wins the popular vote convincingly. It is vote rigging, pure and simple.
 
 
-14 # edge 2013-01-31 21:07
Quoting Vacquero:
My problem (and I suspect T4D's too) is that this plan is not intended to reinforce the power of the popular vote. It is intended to overturn the popular vote.

As it might well have done in this last election. It is a blatant, partisan, and transparently unethical attempt to make sure that a Democrat cannot obtain the White House, even if he wins the popular vote convincingly. It is vote rigging, pure and simple.


I hope that you know that Obama won almost 62% of the electoral vote but only 51% of the popular vote!

This anti popular vote is what you want to continue!

YOU are exposed!!!
 
 
+1 # pbbrodie 2013-02-01 21:02
Check your facts. President Obama won over 52% of the popular vote to 47% for Romney. That is significantly different than what you wrote. Even still, it doesn't matter how much he won by, the fact is that he DID win the popular vote by a greater than 50% majority. In other words, the people have spoken and using this distorted way of allocating the electoral college votes would have thwarted the will of the people.
So, it is YOU who are exposed.
 
 
+14 # ericlipps 2013-01-31 16:34
Quoting edge:
Quoting T4D:
"Grown Ups" all prefer the Popular Vote for all elections.


We do NOT use the popular vote so GROW UP!
Voting by Congressional district would be MUCH closer to the popular vote than we have now...
SO WHAT'S YOU PROBLEM!!


The problem is that Republicans want to do it selectively--th at is, ONLY where it would work in their favor. Voting by district for president would only be fair if it were done in all 50 states, red and blue alike.
 
 
+10 # Vacquero 2013-01-31 18:03
It still wouldn't be fair, ericlipps.

Gerrymandering has produced a situation in which Republicans are represented in Congress wildly disproportionat ely to their total votes. In other words, in several key states, Republicans hold a much greater percentage of house seats than they should based on party affiliation.

Democrats got more votes for the House in the last election and could not win control. One study shows they'd have to get 7 percent more votes than Republicans to overcome the effects of gerrymandering.
 
 
+6 # rockieball 2013-02-01 09:53
The only reason Ryan was reelected to his district in Wisconsin was because of gerrymandering. If the district had been left as it was he not only would have lost the VP but his congressional seat as well.
What many Republicans do not realize is that it's mostly made up of old people a large majority of them white. Most young people, Hispanics and blacks do not vote for a Republican.
 
 
+26 # BradFromSalem 2013-01-31 12:05
edge,

Read my note above. I agree that it is totally legal, and a state issue. But, due to gerrymandering, the plan distorts the popular vote. And that is exactly why the Republicans are in favor of this plan. It violates the principal one one person, one vote.
 
 
+9 # reiverpacific 2013-01-31 14:08
Quoting BradFromSalem:
edge,

Read my note above. I agree that it is totally legal, and a state issue. But, due to gerrymandering, the plan distorts the popular vote. And that is exactly why the Republicans are in favor of this plan. It violates the principal one one person, one vote.

I used to have a bumper sticker post-Dimwits "Selection" that read "One person, one vote. -Not applicable in certain states". Pretty close to the bone there, what?!
 
 
+3 # BradFromSalem 2013-01-31 15:13
Is there a Supreme Court ruling that enforces one person, one vote? Although if there was, I doubt the Obama administration would actually bring court action against the gerrymandered districts. There is a modern catch now and that is people let their votes be bought. Not the old fashioned way where your community got a park or your lazy uncle got a no show job in return for a bunch of votes.
Now, with Citizen's United, people sell their votes and only get the following:
"...hearing things
From uptight, short-sighted, narrow-minded hypocritics
...
... had enough of reading things
By neurotic, psychotic, pig-headed politicians"

Prophetically or timelessly written by John Lennon, Just gimme some truth
 
 
-13 # edge 2013-02-01 06:06
Quoting reiverpacific:
[
I used to have a bumper sticker post-Dimwits "Selection" that read "One person, one vote. -Not applicable in certain states". Pretty close to the bone there, what?!


You clearly do not understand our electoral system!
People are free to vote or free not to vote.

Take California, 55 electoral vote but heavily Democratic...th e BIGGEST prize yet no Republican or Democrat even campaigns there! Sure Dems go to collect cash to spend in other States but not in CA.
The same in New York and New Jersey.
The opposite in Texas and much of the center of the country.

To vote by Congressional district, something up to each individual STATE and not Congress, would clearly be a better system that we have now...but you cry that more fair won't help YOUR party so you cry foul!!

Shame one you, you must want just appoint someone and get rid of voting altogether!!
 
 
-1 # BradFromSalem 2013-02-01 10:02
edge,

All of what you say about allocating electoral votes based on Congressional districtshaving the potential of exapnding the election landscape would make for great discussion. It is not a plan I would support until after we deal with allocating the districts along common interests in equivalent numbers. Right now, the district allocations are based on which party happens to have won the election every 10 years.
The reason we cry foul is NOT because it is illegal, because it is not. It is however, not a step forward. Nobody here has advocated appointing anyone to anything, and I believe that should the discussion turn to the Electoral College, I would be getting as many red thumbs as you. But please, just acknowledge that making this type of change before it could have been considered as a factor in allocating districts, is cheating. Legal, but not acting honorably or respecting the will of the people. Which, by the way, even Ronald Reagan considered to a sacred duty.
 
 
-5 # edge 2013-02-01 10:35
Quoting BradFromSalem:
snip.

But please, just acknowledge that making this type of change before it could have been considered as a factor in allocating districts, is cheating.

snip.


This is up to the individual STATES, and just as many Democrat States are gerrymandered to the Dems favor!

Congressional districts are basically the same size by population, and pretty evenly split between Dems and the GOP!

If that were not the case then Pelosi would not have been speaker if as you say it would favor the GOP.
 
 
+11 # Vacquero 2013-01-31 16:09
Of course it's election rigging.

That it is possible does not mean it is not rigging.

That it might be legal does not mean it is not rigging. Although an honest court could hold that these plans violate both the fifth clause of the 1965 voting rights act and the "equal protection" clause of the 14th amendment.

And the argument that it would be "closer" to the popular vote is a deliberate distortion. Had this plan been in place it is possible the election would have been awarded to Romney. In other words, the plan would have served to thwart the will of the people and nullify the popular vote.

And, oh yeah, I'm a grown up...so your admonishment to "grow up" falls on deaf (and old) ears.
 
 
+9 # tabonsell 2013-01-31 17:16
Does it not occur to you that the two states that allocate their electoral votes this way may be in the wrong?

The Constitution says a state shall have electoral votes to match the representations it has in Congress.

That means all electoral voters represent the state, and there is nothing in the Constitution that says each electoral voter represents a congressional district.
 
 
-43 # MidwestTom 2013-01-31 11:23
Is this a plan to offset the 52 Precincts in Philadelphia that had zero Republican votes, and the ten counties in Colorado where their were more votes cast than there were registered voters? The long and the short is that the Federal government has too much power, and humans seek power no matter what party they are affiliated with. The only way to curb fraud is to lessen the power of the government, which is not likely. I am betting that the 10% across the board cuts agreed to in December, never happen.
 
 
+15 # Vacquero 2013-01-31 16:32
The only voter fraud that has been proven are the voter suppression tactics initiated by the thugs in the GOP.

Closing voter precinct places in high density population areas forcing inner city citizens to wait seven hours or more to cast their ballot.

Voter intimidation with partisans standing just outside the limit allowed by law.

Voting list purges that massively target Democratic leaning districts.

And, in my own state, a GOP woman who was caught red handed, and arrested, for shredding Demo ballots.

There is your fraud. Not the deliberate fabrications of the GOP echo chamber sound machine. But real live verifiable events.

Republicans will do anything to win. Well, anything except win the hearts and minds of the majority of Americans.
 
 
+9 # Vacquero 2013-01-31 16:46
Very smart, MidwestTom that you dropped the allegations of fraud in Wood County, Ohio; since Politifact utterly, completely and decisively annihilated that bogus claim; as they will the rest of them when they get around to it.

http://www.politifact.com/ohio/statements/2012/nov/19/online-petition/online-petition-claims-obama-got-more-votes-one-co/

Face it, there was no voter fraud. Obama won fair and square. And now the cheaters on your side want to figure out a way to steal the future.
 
 
+10 # tabonsell 2013-01-31 17:30
Do you have any proof that 52 precincts in Philadelphia had no votes for Republicans and 10 counties in Colorado cast more votes than there are registered voters? Please share that information.

You are right that the federal government exercises too much power.

Such as the GOP in Congress getting the feds involved in family planning. Or Republicans getting the government involved in a woman's pregnancy or regulating the speech of the knocked-up doll, her advisors and health-care providers.

Then we have Republicans having government deciding who we can take as lovers or as spouses. We have Republicans telling us the proper amount of patriotism to show or have government punish us if we show the wrong type of patriotism or lack of patriotism. This is real "too much power" because none of those actions are authorized by the Constitution.

Let's hope those 10% across-the-boar d cuts don't happen because that is a sure and proven path to economic disaster. Always has been, always will be.
 
 
+5 # MJnevetS 2013-02-01 08:43
Sean Hannity tried to make this a fraud issue, yet historical, and investigative evidence explain what happened in this overwhelmingly Democratic area, focusing on one particular precinct, the 3rd division of the 28th Ward:

About 94 percent of the 633 people who live in that division are black. Seven white residents were counted in the 2010 census.

In the entire 28th Ward, Romney received only 34 votes to Obama's 5,920.
Although voter registration lists, which often contain outdated information, show 12 Republicans live in the ward's 3rd division, The Inquirer was unable to find any of them by calling or visiting their homes. In fact, Four of the registered Republicans no longer lived there; four others didn't answer their doors. City Board of Elections registration data say a registered Republican used to live at 25th and York Streets, but none of the neighbors across the street Friday knew him.
The ward's 15th division, which also cast no votes for Romney, also cast no votes for McCain in 2008. Thirteen other Philadelphia precincts also cast no votes for the Republican in both 2008 and 2012.
Finally, the article commented that "in 2008, McCain got zero votes in 57 Philadelphia voting divisions." Thus, it is not surprising that Romney saw a similar result. NO FRAUD, just African Americans who understand that Republicans despise their race, with the exception of a few 'house Republicans'
 
 
-17 # R. Indignation 2013-01-31 11:34
Also, so simple, because the MSM is saying that vote rigging schemes are dead.
 
 
+25 # WestWinds 2013-01-31 11:35
It's stunning that the NeoCons feel so comfortable with their ability to lie, cheat and take over the whole elections process. We need to find a way to permanently get rid of these people and their sick agenda.
 
 
+17 # reiverpacific 2013-01-31 11:42
I'm a little confused about the subject addressing the white house but is mostly about rigging states.
I guess that it all goes back to that dusty, gnarled, outdated, anti-democratic electoral college system which is the spawn of the elite land and slave owners when only THEY could vote but still plays into the hands of the wealthy and corrupt, allied with citizens united and the relentless gerrymandering of the reprobate party in redistricting. That's a pretty toxic but powerful mix for the unscrupulous.
BUT, ah but! -Who exactly does the Grotty Old Party have in mind for 2016? The 2012 batch were a pretty pathetic quantity and the "selected" candidate was resoundingly told to piss off and disappear by almost all but the white male demographic which, as recent RSN and other alternative media articles have pointed out, is shrinking apace and likely to continue so in favor of the growing progressive patchwork or at least the Democrat vote.
So who's it gonna be? Bobby Jingles? Rughead Trump (again)? Chris Christie? Marco Rubio?
I can just see the women, latinos, blacks, natives and youth running to vote for that lot!
For the Dems I'm pretty sure about Hilary Clinton and possibly Julia Castro, either of whom in an honest system would trump (no joke intended) any of the Reprobates from the above list.
They're going to have to work hard at gerrymandering to keep their diminished and diminishing demographic and relevance alive.
 
 
+8 # CenTexDem 2013-01-31 12:08
Proportionate allocation of electoral votes by state wide results not individual gerry mandered district results is the only fair compromise. The GOP needs to be careful - their dirty self-dealing may come back to haunt them even worse than the present.
 
 
+3 # Vacquero 2013-01-31 16:13
Quoting CenTexDem:
Proportionate allocation of electoral votes by state wide results not individual gerry mandered district results is the only fair compromise.


As long as all states do it. If blue states are all proportional, while red states are all winner-take-all , no Democrat will ever obtain the White House no matter what the popular vote might be.
 
 
+9 # wwway 2013-01-31 12:28
Republicans will never admit they have a policy problem and will always seek to sweeten their message.
Democracy is a process that ensures the people get the government they deserve. Time to stop listening and keep ears tuned and eyes focused on legislation.
I'd like to see news stations spending more time on legislative action. There is always going to be scheming against our democracy.
 
 
+4 # Gogojoe 2013-01-31 16:28
Lest we forget, that weasel Govenor Snyder of Michigan also said he'd never go long with so called right to work legislation! His word is worthless!
 
 
+2 # Scotty44 2013-01-31 20:13
The words of many politicians are worthless. Like Snyder, they will do a sneak attack if it will get them what they want.
Some states have passed laws awarding all their electoral votes to the winner of the popular vote. If a combination of states holding the majority of the electoral votes did so, it would basically nullify the electoral college without having to change the constitution, and eliminate the gerrymandering impact on the presidential race. Seems like a winner to me.
 

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