In a word, the danger posed by recent and future action on the part of state legislatures dominated by Republicans is serious and growing. Brad Plumer lays it out.
In most states, presidential elections are fairly simple. Whichever candidate garners the most votes wins all of that state’s electoral votes. There are two tiny exceptions (Maine and Nebraska), but that’s typically how it works. President Obama won a majority of votes in Virginia in 2012, so he got all 13 of its electoral votes and carried the state.
The future of the electoral college?
But some lawmakers are now trying to change that. On Wednesday, a subcommittee in the Virginia state Senate approved a bill, authored by Sen. Bill Carrico (R) that would split the state’s electoral votes between different candidates.
Here’s how this would work: Each presidential candidate would get a certain number of electoral votes depending on how many congressional districts he or she carried in Virginia. On top of that, an extra two electoral votes would be awarded to whichever candidate carries the most districts in total.
As Dave Weigel points out, this would have altered the results of the 2012 election. Barack Obama, recall, carried Virginia with 51 percent of the popular vote. But under Carrico’s system, Obama would have received just four electoral votes while Romney would have received nine. In other words, Obama would have received 150,000 more ballots and still lost the state decisively. …Wonkblog, WaPo
In the four years between now and the 2016 vote, we’d better do what we can to stop our state legislatures from skewing the vote to the far right.
Cross-posted from Prairie Weather