Senator Bob Casey Jr. has furrowed his bushy eyebrows over Harrisburg, condemning a Republican plan to change the allocation of the state’s electoral votes in presidential elections. “That we wouldn’t speak with one voice, the way we always have, would put us at a disadvantage,” Casey said.
Currently, as in most states, all 20 of Pennsylvania’s electoral college votes are awarded to the candidate who wins the majority of the state’s votes. In Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi’s plan, Pennsylvania would adopt a proportional system, in which candidates would split the votes, based on the percentage of the vote they won.
Naturally, Democrats are upset–under this system Mitt Romney would have received 8 votes (rather than 0) and Obama would have received 12 (2 would automatically be granted to winner, on top of the proportional victory) last year. But though the GOP-led bill is politically driven–and a more moderate version of an even more blatant proposal to skew the vote in their direction–it wouldn’t be such a bad idea if scaled nationally. As I wrote last month:
On its face, Pileggi’s statement that the system “much more accurately reflects the will of the voters in our state” is correct. This system actually brings America closer to a National Popular Vote–something liberals have long lobbied for. Here’s the problem–the effort to effect this sort of policy over the last couple years has taken place almost entirely in states that vote Democrat in presidential elections, but are controlled by Republican legislatures. In other words, in an ideal Republican world, red states like Texas would remain winner-take-all, and blue states would become proportional, thereby increasing only the number of GOP electoral votes. If every state went proportional (or better yet, if we got rid of the electoral college altogether), then Pileggi’s proposal would become quite a bit more palatable.
For now, though, the priority for Dems like Casey will be to nip this bill in the bud. [Inquirer]