GOP war on voting: Rigging elections to thwart the popular vote

Posted by AzBlueMeanie:

First, the good news. The U.S. Supreme Court rejected an appeal without comment from the RNC to overturn a 30 year old consent decree prohibiting the RNC from targeting racial and ethnic minorities in its fraudulent "voter fraud" efforts. Supreme Court denies RNC bid to end voter fraud consent decree:

The Supreme Court has refused to lift a 30-year consent decree that bars
the Republican National Committee from targeting racial and ethnic
minorities in its efforts to end fraudulent voting.

* * *

The RNC has tried repeatedly to have the consent decree lifted,
contending it interferes with its efforts to combat voter fraud. But a
federal judge in New Jersey in 2009 ruled that it should remain in
effect, and the U.S. Court of Appeals agreed last year.

* * *

The justices with no dissent dismissed the appeal in the case of RNC vs. DNC.

The consent decree only applies to the RNC and not to related entities, nor state Republican Parties, which explains why we witnessed such an explosion of voter suppression efforts in Republican controled states in 2012.

In recent years there have been proposals to do away with the antiquated electoral college. One proposal is a direct popular vote — the candidate with the most votes wins. Another proposal is the National Popular Vote — Under the National Popular Vote compact, all of the state's electoral votes would be awarded to the presidential candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. (In that case, why not just amend the Constitution to eliminate the electoral college for a direct popular vote?)

And then there is the Republican Party, which wants to go a whole different direction — allocation of electoral votes by congressional districts — which is a form of super-gerrymandering to rig elections to thwart the popular vote. RNC Chair: Rig The Next Presidential Election For Republicans:

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett (R) proposed rigging the presidential election for Mitt Romney
by allocating electoral votes based upon which candidate carried each
individual congressional district, rather than upon who wins the state
as a whole. Thanks in large part to Republican gerrymandering, if
Corbett’s election-rigging plan had been in effect last November in the
Republican-controlled states of Florida, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania,
Virginia and Wisconsin, Romney would have won the Electoral College despite losing the popular vote by nearly four points (5 million votes).

In an interview with the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel,
Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus did not simply
endorse this election-rigging scheme, he indicated that it should be targeted towards consistently Democratic states where it is most likely to skew the presidential election to the GOP’s benefit:

Republicans are in a unique position to make headway with
such a plan nationally because Wisconsin and other key states that have
gone to the Democratic presidential candidate in recent elections are
currently controlled by Republicans at the state level. The change would
give Republicans a chance to claim some of those states’ electoral
votes.

“I think it’s something that a lot of states that have been
consistently blue that are fully controlled red ought to be looking at,”
Priebus said of the plan to change how electoral votes are granted.

Such a system “gives more local control” to the states, he argued.

This would not be the GOP’s only effort to rig elections so that they
win no matter what the will of the American people may be. Last
November, Democratic House candidates won the national popular vote by
nearly 1.4 million votes. Yet, thanks to Republican gerrymandering, they
would need to win the popular vote by over seven points in order to take back the House
.

The congressional results are more complex than just gerrymandering. There is a demographic and geographic component. Democrats tend to be concentrated in urban and suburban communities, and Republicans tend to be concentrated in rural areas. The analysis is beyond the scope of the point of this post.

Allocation of electoral votes by congressional district presently occurs only in the states of Maine and Nebraska.

The only fair vote is a direct popular vote of the president and vice president, the same as for every other elected official in this country. It is time to do away with the antiquated electoral college, and to take away the machinations of the RNC to rig elections to thwart the popular vote.

0 responses to “GOP war on voting: Rigging elections to thwart the popular vote

  1. I understand what you want to accomplish, but I am opposed to a constitutional work around on principle. I don’t like gimmicks. If you want to change the Constititution, amend it. And yes, that is hard work that takes time and money.

  2. Thanks! I was afraid that was the case but didnt know for sure.

    Bill Astle

  3. To abolish the Electoral College would need a constitutional amendment, and could be stopped by states with as little as 3% of the U.S. population.

    The National Popular Vote bill would guarantee the Presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states (and DC), without needing to amend the Constitution.

    Every vote, everywhere, would be politically relevant and equal in presidential elections. No more distorting and divisive red and blue state maps. There would no longer be a handful of ‘battleground’ states where voters and policies are more important than those of the voters in 80% of the states that now are just ‘spectators’ and ignored after the conventions.

    When the bill is enacted by states with a majority of the electoral votes– enough electoral votes to elect a President (270 of 538), all the electoral votes from the enacting states would be awarded to the presidential candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states and DC.

    The presidential election system that we have today was not designed, anticipated, or favored by the Founding Fathers but, instead, is the product of decades of evolutionary change precipitated by the emergence of political parties and enactment by 48 states of winner-take-all laws, not mentioned, much less endorsed, in the Constitution.

    The bill uses the power given to each state by the Founding Fathers in the Constitution to change how they award their electoral votes for President. Historically, virtually all of the major changes in the method of electing the President, including ending the requirement that only men who owned substantial property could vote and 48 current state-by-state winner-take-all laws, have come about by state legislative action.

    In Gallup polls since 1944, only about 20% of the public has supported the current system of awarding all of a state’s electoral votes to the presidential candidate who receives the most votes in each separate state (with about 70% opposed and about 10% undecided). Support for a national popular vote is strong among Republicans, Democrats, and Independent voters, as well as every demographic group in virtually every state surveyed in recent polls in recent closely divided Battleground states: CO – 68%, FL – 78%, IA 75%, MI – 73%, MO – 70%, NH – 69%, NV – 72%, NM– 76%, NC – 74%, OH – 70%, PA – 78%, VA – 74%, and WI – 71%; in Small states (3 to 5 electoral votes): AK – 70%, DC – 76%, DE – 75%, ID – 77%, ME – 77%, MT – 72%, NE 74%, NH – 69%, NV – 72%, NM – 76%, OK – 81%, RI – 74%, SD – 71%, UT – 70%, VT – 75%, WV – 81%, and WY – 69%; in Southern and Border states: AR – 80%, KY- 80%, MS – 77%, MO – 70%, NC – 74%, OK – 81%, SC – 71%, TN – 83%, VA – 74%, and WV – 81%; and in other states polled: AZ – 67%, CA – 70%, CT – 74%, MA – 73%, MN – 75%, NY – 79%, OR – 76%, and WA – 77%. Americans believe that the candidate who receives the most votes should win.

    The bill has passed 31 state legislative chambers in 21 states with 243 electoral votes. The bill has been enacted by 9 jurisdictions with 132 electoral votes – 49% of the 270 necessary to go into effect.

    NationalPopularVote
    Follow National Popular Vote on Facebook via NationalPopularVoteInc

  4. “In fact, if every state awarded its electoral votes by congressional district, it’s likely that Mitt Romney would have won the 2012 presidential election despite losing the popular vote by nearly four percentage points. (According to Fix projections and data from Daily Kos Elections, Romney won at least 227 congressional districts and 24 states, giving him 275 electoral votes — more than the 270 he needed.)” http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-fix/wp/2013/01/15/the-gops-big-electoral-vote-gambit-explained/

  5. Has anyone seen an analysis of what would have happened if every state allocated Electoral College votes based on the “by Congressional District” model? Assuming votes for a U.S. Representative (i.e. House member) would be for the same party as for President, Arizona would have given Obama five electoral votes, not zero.