VA Legislature Moves To Rig Electoral Votes In GOP's Favor

Here we go! After their stealth move to redistrict Virginia's Senate districts, Republicans are moving the next piece into place. News-Leader reports:

A Republican-backed bill that would end Virginia’s winner-takes-all method of apportioning its 13 electoral votes in presidential elections cleared its first legislative hurdle Wednesday.

A Senate Privileges and Elections subcommittee recommended Sen. Bill Carrico’s bill on a 3-3 party line vote Wednesday, advancing it to consideration by the GOP-dominated full committee next week. Republicans control the Senate and House in Virginia, and Gov. Bob McDonnell is a Republican.

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The bill would apportion electors by congressional district to the candidate who wins each of the state’s 11 districts. The candidate who carries a majority of the districts would also win the two electors not tied to congressional districts.

Sen. Charles W. “Bill” Carrico, R-Grayson, said the change is necessary because Virginia’s populous, urbanized areas such as the Washington, D.C., suburbs and Hampton Roads can outvote rural regions such as his, rendering their will irrelevant.

So Virginia thinks that the solution is basing electoral votes on acreage rather than people? Seriously, Carrico is arguing that because the DC suburbs have more people who cast more votes, they should reapportion electoral votes by district. As Working America said, this would be the "heads I win, tails you lose" strategy.

Here's the text of the bill:

Electoral College. Provides that the Commonwealth's electoral votes shall be allocated by congressional district. Receipt by a slate of presidential electors of the highest number of votes in a congressional district constitutes the election of the congressional district elector of that slate. Receipt by a slate of electors of the highest number of votes in a majority of congressional districts constitutes the election of the two at-large electors of that slate. In the event no slate receives the highest number of votes in a majority of districts, receipt by a slate of the highest number of votes statewide shall constitute election of the two at-large electors of that slate.

The only comfort in all of this is that Virginia is subject to review under the Voting Rights Act, which means this scheme (and their stealth redistricting scheme) may not pass muster. But I wouldn't count on that, particularly with the Voting Rights Act in front of the US Supreme Court this year.

I think we'd better figure out how to get rid of the electoral college altogether --and fast.


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