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Excerpt: "Indeed, if the Corbett/Husted plan to rig the Electoral College had been law in several key Republican-controlled states that President Obama won last Tuesday, America would now be looking at a very different future."

Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted. (photo: ThinkProgress)
Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted. (photo: ThinkProgress)

How Republicans Plan to Rig Elections in 2016

By Ian Millhiser, Josh Israel, ThinkProgress

12 November 12


ast year, Pennsylvania's Republican Gov. Tom Corbett proposed rigging the Electoral College vote in his state through a plan that would have given the majority of the state's electors to Romney even after President Obama carried the state. Under Corbett's plan, the winner of each congressional district within Pennsylvania would receive a single electoral vote, and the overall winner of the state would receive an additional two electoral votes. Had this plan been in place last Tuesday, Mitt Romney would likely have won 13 of the state's 20 electoral votes, despite losing the state overall by more than five points.

Corbett's election-rigging plan died, largely because Republican members of Congress in Pennsylvania feared that it would cause the Obama campaign to shift resources into their districts and endanger their own chances of being reelected. Now, however, Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted (R)- who spent much of 2012 inventing ways to prevent pro-Obama votes from being cast or counted - wants to revive this election rigging scheme. According to the Ohio political blog Plunderbund,

Husted's solution to this perceived problem of Democrats and the national media picking on him? He says we should make Ohio less important in the election by dividing up our electoral votes by Congressional district.
This is huge and should raise giant red flags. Under the current winner-take-all system, Obama won all 18 of Ohio's electoral votes. Under Husted's plan, 12 of those 18 electoral votes would be handed to Mitt Romney, the popular vote loser.

As in Pennsylvania, Republicans gerrymandered Ohio within an inch of its life. Even though Obama won Ohio, Republicans carried 12 of 16 seats in Ohio's House delegation. This gerrymander would have all but ensured that Romney carried the overwhelming majority of Ohio's electoral votes, regardless of how he performed in the state overall.

Indeed, if the Corbett/Husted plan to rig the Electoral College had been law in several key Republican-controlled states that President Obama won last Tuesday, America would now be looking at a very different future. Assuming that Mitt Romney won every congressional district that elected a Republican House candidate in these key states, the Corbett/Husted plan would have given Romney 17 electoral votes in Florida, 9 in Michigan, 12 in Ohio, 13 in Pennsylvania, 8 in Virginia, and 5 in Wisconsin - for a total of 64 additional electoral votes.

Add those 64 votes to the 206 votes Romney won legitimately, and it adds up to exactly 270 - the amount he needed to win the White House. your social media marketing partner


A note of caution regarding our comment sections:

For months a stream of media reports have warned of coordinated propaganda efforts targeting political websites based in the U.S., particularly in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election.

We too were alarmed at the patterns we were, and still are, seeing. It is clear that the provocateurs are far more savvy, disciplined, and purposeful than anything we have ever experienced before.

It is also clear that we still have elements of the same activity in our article discussion forums at this time.

We have hosted and encouraged reader expression since the turn of the century. The comments of our readers are the most vibrant, best-used interactive feature at Reader Supported News. Accordingly, we are strongly resistant to interrupting those services.

It is, however, important to note that in all likelihood hardened operatives are attempting to shape the dialog our community seeks to engage in.

Adapt and overcome.

Marc Ash
Founder, Reader Supported News

+75 # LeeBlack 2012-11-12 10:02
It's time we address the elective process problems. Election officials should not be politically elected State office holders. It's time to address the inequities of the electoral college. People in "non-swing" States feel they have no voice at all. Voting machines should provide trails that can be traced,

It isn't time to sit back and wait 4 years to see the same problems we've had this year.

And, PLEASE, PLEASE a shorter, cheaper campaign season.
+28 # Joe Bob 2012-11-12 13:35
We need to get on this and stay on this now. Nothing like hearing of it at the last minute and not being able to do anything.
+5 # AMLLLLL 2012-11-14 14:36
Since the majority of those governors got there through the Tbagger/Koch brother $$ machine, it's probably time to start campaigning to oust them in '14.
+14 # Nominae 2012-11-12 21:48
@ LeeBlack

Thoroughly well-thought through. However, people were demanding all of the same corrections and reforms after the 2000 Election, 2004, 2008, and now 2012.

We see a pattern here, but apparently *someone* loves the status quo and blocks any and all efforts in the direction of the corrections that you list.

Simply know that millions of people are with you on this, but our so-called "representative s" can't quite "hear" us !

Something in the equation has to be changed such that these changes become the only option open. Until then, we will see no change.

On the plus side, 27 States now require voting machines to produce a receipt. In some of the remaining States, Republican Legislatures have actually enacted laws making it illegal FOR voting machines to produce receipts.

We have a long way to go.
+58 # df312 2012-11-12 10:26
Yes, WATCH OUT for 2016. Something tells me we ain't seen nothing yet.
+8 # fbacher 2012-11-12 10:54
This is another of those "it sounds like a good idea" things that requires some education to fight back on. It might be a fine idea, as long as the WHOLE country adopts it.
+16 # LiberalRN 2012-11-12 12:08
Quoting fbacher:
This is another of those "it sounds like a good idea" things that requires some education to fight back on. It might be a fine idea, as long as the WHOLE country adopts it.

I agree that it's one of those "sounds like a good idea" things. It isn't. If the whole country adopted this, we would then have wholesale gerrymandering and Ohio on a national scale. Lots of opportunity to circumvent the popular vote... lots MORE, I should say, than already exists within the artifact that is the Electoral College.
+2 # Nominae 2012-11-12 21:55
Quoting LiberalRN:
Quoting fbacher:
This is another of those "it sounds like a good idea" things that requires some education to fight back on. It might be a fine idea, as long as the WHOLE country adopts it.

I agree that it's one of those "sounds like a good idea" things. It isn't. If the whole country adopted this, we would then have wholesale gerrymandering and Ohio on a national scale. Lots of opportunity to circumvent the popular vote... lots MORE, I should say, than already exists within the artifact that is the Electoral College.

So what's the problem ? Are we able to focus upon only one thing at a time ? Preventing illegal control of the popular vote can be addressed even as we have a discussion on the Electoral College, and also discuss means to prevent manipulation there, as long as it remains in place.

We need not be a "one-trick pony", and for States having referendum there are two years to get any proposed changes before the voters.
+8 # readerz 2012-11-12 21:54
Right now, the liberal communities have been gerrymandered out of representation in Ohio. Do you want that across America?

Akron Ohio is divided into four sections, and each section now will have a Congressional Representative who is not from Akron, does not live in Akron, and mainly represents either rural or Cleveland voters. Akron has its own problems, but it will never get a dime of pork, or even beans, from Congress. The Republicans are happy to tax us, but we are taxed without representation.

Akron, not Cleveland, invented rock and roll. Akron brought you Devo. Akron invented the harvester, the rubber industry, and polymer science; and has always been a center of both invention and union activity. Akron could easily go the way of Youngstown, and nobody now in Washington D.C. will care.
-48 # MidwestTom 2012-11-12 11:01
Two interesting events to follow left from this year;s election. In Florida in a race on the East coast there apparently were more votes cast than registered voters. Then Philadelphia apparently Republican poll were forbidden to enter polling sites in 55 locations. Do I sense voter fraud? No matter who does it, each incident of voter fraud moves us closer to a dictatorship, because democracy is not working.
+26 # Lgfoot 2012-11-12 12:47
Where do you get this stuff? The voter turnout in FL was less than 60% of registered voters according to news reports.
+27 # guyachs 2012-11-12 14:14
they just make it up or get it from limbaugh and fox
+3 # MidwestDick 2012-11-12 16:12
In a particular Philly precinct GOP poll watchers were not allowed to sit at the same table as the folks passing out ballots. They were not removed from the premises.
I did some poll watching for greens and dems. When I was at the polling place, some workers kindly allowed me some idea of what was going on with vote counts and the like, but it was universally recognized that I did not have the same access to records, nor did I get to sit in the same place as the poll workers.
I note that, although these poll watchers are allowed and encouraged to notify their party operatives, the police, or the local legal authorities of irregularities in the process, no mention is made anywhere of a successful challenge to the authority or methods of the supervisor who forbid the poll watchers access to records and a place at the poll-workers table.

If democracy is not working, I'm sure the Republicans would refuse to provide it with unemployment insurance.
+30 # Vardoz 2012-11-12 11:26
Time to implement and standardize the Voting Rights Act and enforce it. The GOP treats us like a banana republic. We just can't let them. We need to let our reps know they better do something or they are toast! This is our last most fundemental freedom that that decides life and death issues so we better fight for it.
+20 # reiverpacific 2012-11-12 11:48
Well, the main hope is that, since the last election, seemingly a good section of the heavily somnambulist US voting population is beginning to wake up to the possibility at least, that they are being screwed at the ballot-box as well as their workplaces and banks.
More engagement, vigilance and activism at the grassroots driven by critical mass is the model, and a resurgence of "Occupy" (the ballot box) and overturn Citizen's United then limit by statute the enrichment of the owner media and equal access to air time by ALL candidates, not just an elite chosen two parties.
Can you imagine the effect?
+22 # coach777b 2012-11-12 12:04
Any attempt to suppress or rig the election system should be a FELONY! Hustled would not take the actions he took in the recent election if he knew he faced prison time. They want our electoral system to resemble some South American dictatorship.
+5 # davidg 2012-11-12 12:55
The solution is to abolish the Electoral College completely and use the popular vote. (Almost) equivalently, each state's electoral votes could be apportioned according to the total popular vote in that state.
+18 # Barbara K 2012-11-12 13:03
I think the Voting Laws should be Nationalized and controlled. The rules should be the same for all states. Rigging elections or machines should be a fraud with several years of prison time. Registrations and voter registration lists should be held by the Federal Government and done by the Federal Government. Gerrymandering should not be allowed at all. Force all states to return them to what they were 20 years ago. We need to get tough on this kind of malarkey.
+1 # bingers 2012-11-16 19:00
We need some independent source with mad computer skills to remap every state so that all districts are as close to a perfect square as possible and no politician should be allowed any input whatsoever.
+14 # Lolanne 2012-11-12 14:04
Barbara K: I also advocate the federal gov't taking over voting laws, at least in all federal elections, so that the rules are the same in every state. What we have now is just nuts! And my reaction to the above article is also the same as yours: stop gerrymandering. Quite simply, don't allow it. Redraw districts that make sense and do not allow either party to change them. The playing field would be considerably leveled by these changes, and it would definitely make it more difficult for elections to be rigged and stolen.

It is truly shameful that in America, after all the years of fighting for the hard-won right of ALL citizens to vote, we now have to go back and fight the same battles all over again.
+11 # Replicounts 2012-11-12 14:58
An excellent alternative is the National Popular Vote plan. It can change the U.S. to a popular vote, without changing the Constitution. And it will mean that everyone's vote in the U.S. will count equally, without regard to "swing states," so politicians will need to address the whole country to win.

Several states have already adopted the National Popular Vote plan, but it does not go into effect until adopted by enough states to provide a majority of the electoral vote (currently 270). It has been introduced in the legislatures of all 50 states. It certainly could be in effect by 2016, creating a US election system less susceptible to fraud.

For more information, see:
+3 # readerz 2012-11-12 22:07
Thank you!!! I've been saying this ad nauseum.

The smallest (population) states such as Wyoming and Alaska get all the pork, because they automatically get 3 Electoral votes each. If you add up the 10 most conservative smallest states (that is, subtract those one or two small states that vote Democrat), their Electoral College vote is somewhere between Texas and New York, BUT their combined population is less than an average state. They literally get more than twice, often three times the Electoral College votes they deserve.

Nor does their power protect their farm or state interests, because the largest states have so much power, although not receiving enough representation in the Senate. You know something is wrong when the Senate is Democrat and the House is Republican, because the skewed vote should be the opposite: it has to be Citizen's United money and also extreme gerrymandering in 2010, not just in Ohio. Those low-population Senators are conservative, and often block appointments to Cabinet positions, Supreme Court and other judicial positions.
+1 # abaconw48026 2012-11-12 15:03
We need an electoral college to prevent some states from having more power in government than smaller states. California and New York would only need 1 or perhaps 2 other states to join them to have basically a dictatorship over the other 48 states. since we vote for congressmen every 2 years, we could also vote for members of the electoral college members at the same time with one member of the college from each state for a set period of time, say 2 years.
+2 # Delucastle 2012-11-12 19:27
You're reciting the myth as to why we need an Electoral College. The myth would be proven true if each state had only one electoral vote. But since the votes are proportioned out according to the population of each state, the same states which could band toether in the actual vote scenario to decide an election are the very same states that could band together in the electoral college scenario. The difference being it's far easier to control an election with electoral votes than with actual. With actual votes you'd need the entire voting population of each of those banded states to vote for one candidate to win the election, while with electoral votes you only need one more than half those voting to do the very same thing. Stated in math terms, with actual voting you need 100% of the voters, with electoral votes you need only 51% of the voters. The remaining 49% who voted the other way in effect have all their votes changed to be cast for the opposite candidate. Worse than that, those people who are registered to vote but did not vote at all, have their non-cast votes changed to the "winning" candidate by virtue of their numbers being represented in the proportion-assi gned electoral votes.

Put another way, if in each state that voted for "the winner," only one more than half those who voted, voted for that candidate; and in each state who voted against "the winner" 100% of the voters voted against that candidate; "the winner" would get in with 75+% voting against them.
+1 # readerz 2012-11-12 22:15
What abaconw doesn't get is that the largest states already sway the election because they are so much bigger than the smaller, we are talking half a million voters compared to tens of millions of voters in some cases. The smallest population states however enjoy such a disproportionat e amount of the vote that we resemble a landed aristocracy. Dick Cheney (Wyoming) and Sarah Palin (Alaska) can tell you just how grateful they are for the brainwashing in America's textbooks. Those small states block Supreme Court appointments; do we want that? Those small states do not represent a diverse population, nor are they happy communes of organic farmers, but mono-culture agri-business and similar such corporate "persons."
+6 # Delucastle 2012-11-12 15:32
The Electoral College system sort of made sense in the beginning when the Fed Government was there for the States, not for the people. Liken it to the primary in which the Political Party members vote to tell their party which candidate they want put in the general election. In the old days, the people of each state would tell their state who they wanted their state to vote for, for the President of the UNITED STATES. Got it? He's the president for the states, not for the people. This is the old definition of what the Federal Govt does; the one Mitt Romney gave in the debates; the model that the Republican Party wants to return to. Well that model changed when the Federal Government instituted the federal Income tax and began taking money directly from each working person. As soon as that happened, the fed govt was no longer there for the States, they now had a responsibility to THE PEOPLE because THEY ARE TAXING THEM!!! At that point the Electoral College way of voting should have been abolished in favor of the ACTUAL (I refuse to downplay it by calling it POPULAR) vote. Now that we pay money to the Fed Govt, we have the right to expect it to do things for US - we ARE entitled to aid, despite Mitt Romney's (and the Republican Party's) philosophy, and we have the RIGHT to DIRECTLY by ACTUAL vote, elect the President & Vice President of the USA.
+1 # readerz 2012-11-12 22:27
I agree, but I would restate the problem a little.
The Republican states model is that the Federal government receives revenue from tariffs (which they won't return to) not taxes.

In the old days, the Federal government did not serve the states, but was served BY the states in order to unify them for purposes of defense (the only purpose the Republicans want) and general welfare, whatever they thought that meant at the moment.

Heck, there was a fight to put some rights in the Constitution guaranteeing that police, courts, and jails would be for all people, not just the rich, so they said that "society" is the victim of crimes. In colonial times, fires were put out by individual insurance companies.

But the shift to Federal for everybody started with commerce. You couldn't tax goods going from state to state (ruled the Supreme Court at that time) because it would bring to a halt the prosperity of the country. As soon as THAT happened, that business was acknowledged as a force that could be for good, America was no longer ruled by individual states. But that was also the beginning of the corporate private takeover of America.

What they must acknowledge is that the individuals described in all their sound bites have so much value that they should have the right to elect the President. Corporate personhood is long established by SCOTUS, now it is time for the rest of us.
+3 # readerz 2012-11-12 21:46
I am hoping that the Supreme Court doesn't rule to suppress the vote further and overturn the Civil Rights Act. All states should be included however, not just the south. In Ohio, it seems that Republicans are the minority, but somehow gerrymandered the state seats even worse than Congressional seats. Husted is a nightmare, but I am hoping than Obama's appointments to the Supreme Court might make some difference, because I can see any changes to voting rights to take away a state's internal popular vote isn't going to be very popular with people.

Ohio saw a lot of national Democratic money, but not so much for Congress and statehouse elections. Those people are important too, because eventually they decide who votes in the state and how.
+4 # L mac 2012-11-12 23:55
A simple magority should determine all of our elections. Thank you.
0 # Fishylines 2012-11-16 12:25
Re the 270-270 tie vote, not to worry. Jim Clyburn's district in South Carolina would have gone to Obama, giving him the magic 271.

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