Voter suppression by Republicans was not enough to rig the 2012 elections in favor of Mitt Romney. But Republicans are not going to let the courts or voice of the people get in their way in 2016.
On Monday, the Republican-dominated state legislature in Pennsylvania became the first to introduce legislation that would rig the Electoral College to prevent the winner of the popular vote from getting all of the state's electoral votes. Instead, electoral votes will be awarded according to the party of the congressional district.
By changing the way Electoral College votes are awarded, Republicans can virtually guarantee victory, no matter how many votes the GOP presidential candidates gets.
Pennsylvania House Bill 94 states:
Amending the act of June 3, 1937, known as the Pennsylvania Election Code… Two of the presidential electors (Electoral College) shall be elected at large to represent the entire Commonwealth and shall cast their ballots for the presidential and vice-presidential candidates with the greatest number of votes Statewide.
Each of the remaining presidential electors shall be elected in the presidential elector's congressional district and shall cast a ballot for the presidential and vice-presidential candidates with the greatest number of votes in the congressional district.
When Republicans took over the House of Representatives in 2010, they redrew congressional districts that twisted and turned through neighborhoods that were solidly Republican. The process virtually assures GOP victories.
The 2010 gerrymandered congressional districts were so extensive, Republicans actually should have lost the House majority in the 2012 elections since Democrats got about 1.4 million more votes than Republicans. However, gerrymandering allowed them to keep a 33-seat majority.
Gerrymandering is also the reason House Republicans have little reason to care about national public pressure when they obstruct critical legislation, like the debt ceiling vote. They know they will get re-elected in their solid-red districts, even if they deliberately damage the country.
If Pennsylvania House Bill 94 is signed into law, a Democrat could win the popular vote by a landslide, but only get a handful of the state’s electoral votes. That’s because Republican congressional districts outnumber Democratic districts in Pennsylvania.
The same holds true for other battleground states considering changing their Electoral College laws.
RNC Chair Reince Priebus is encouraging Republican-controlled state House’s to “rig the Electoral College so that when Republicans lose they still might 'win,'” The Nation reports.
Florida, Ohio, Virginia, Wisconsin, and other states that Barack Obama won in 2012 also have gerrymandered congressional districts and are controlled by Republican State Legislatures that could also split their electoral votes so Republicans can win the presidency even if they get fewer votes.
Wisconsin State Rep. Dan LeMahieu, a Republican from Cascade, has introduced a bill to change Wisconsin’s laws so electoral votes would be awarded according to congressional district totals instead of statewide totals.
In a press release today, One Wisconsin Now said:
The depths to which Republicans in Wisconsin will sink to rig elections appear to be bottomless. It is not enough they passed a voter suppression scheme that threatens the voting rights of hundreds of thousands of legal Wisconsin voters, or that they paid $500,000 to rig legislative maps…Now Republicans are attacking the foundation of how Wisconsin participates in electing the President of the United States.
For a party that claims to be great supporters of liberty, freedom, and the Constitution, there is little evidence to suggest that Republicans have any regard for free elections, democracy, or a sense of fairness. Their abuse of power is tearing apart the foundation of the United States and everything that ever made it a great nation.
Rigging the Electoral College so Republicans can win the White House, without actually winning votes, makes the United States a dictatorship.
The Republican plan is unfolding, and with each new layer the American people have less and less freedom.
And when Republicans have complete control of the government with their chosen leaders in place, what do you suppose they will do with their absolute power?