Rigging the Vote: PA House Bill 94 Proposes New Republican Electoral College Reforms

Yesterday for the Raging Chicken, I wrote about State Senator Dominic Pileggi’s proposals to reform the state’s Electoral College in 2011 and December 2012.  Prior to the Voter ID battle, Governor Corbett and Senator Pileggi thought that changing the way Pennsylvania distributes its electoral votes would benefit Mitt Romney.  If the plan to distribute votes based on gerrymandered Congressional districts, Obama would have received 12 out of 20 electoral votes, despite winning the statewide race by 4 points.  Since Voter ID, voter intimidation and other voting suppression tactics failed to deliver Mitt Romney the election, Republicans in state houses around the country are beginning to look at rigging the electoral vote to secure 2016.  Over the weekend, ThinkProgress explained that Mitt Romney would have won the election if Republican swing states used “Corbett’s election-rigging plan.”  The article also explained that RNC Chairman Reince Priebus endorsed the reforms and told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: “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.”

On January 14th, State Representative Robert Godshall – from Montgomery County – introduced vote rigging House Bill 94.  He is the prime sponsor and other Republicans that co-sponsored the bill include: Seth Grove, Rob Kauffman, Adam Harris, Steve BarrarJoe Emrick and Dan Moul.  The bill was introduced to the Committee on State Government and would like to amend Section 1501 of the 1937 Pennsylvania Election Code.  Section 1501 is the section that explains how electoral votes are distributed.   The two amendments House Republicans are proposing state:

(1) Two of the presidential electors 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.

(2) 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.


Sean Kitchen is an Assistant Editor and Social Media Organizer for Raging Chicken Press. He is student at Kutztown University

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About Sean Kitchen 681 Articles
Contributor and Assistant Editor for the Raging Chicken Press. Stationed in Harrisburg covering politics in the capitol. You can send tips to sean@rcpress.org or reach me on twitter at @RCPress_Sean!
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4 Comments on Rigging the Vote: PA House Bill 94 Proposes New Republican Electoral College Reforms

  1. A survey of Pennsylvania voters showed 78% overall support for a national popular vote for President.

    Support was 87% among Democrats, 68% among Republicans, and 76% among independents.

    By age, support was 77% among 18-29 year olds, 73% among 30-45 year olds, 81% among 46-65 year olds, and 78% for those older than 65.

    By gender, support was 85% among women and 71% among men.

    The National Popular Vote bill would guarantee the Presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states (and DC).

    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.

    Follow National Popular Vote on Facebook via NationalPopularVoteInc

    • The Republican plan in PA & other swing states is not based on the popular vote – it’s based on congressional districts which are already Gerrymandered in favor of Republicans. That’s why 83,000 more people in PA voted for a Democrat in congress – but PA sent 13 Republicans & only 5 Demcorats to congress last year!

  2. Just goes to show, when a party can’t win an election on their ideas or their candidate’s merits, cheating is the only recourse. Pathetic how they’ve regressed.

  3. this is just amazing. When will republicans learn. whenever they try to do something underhanded it comes back to bite them in the A$$. Stupid is, is Stupid does.

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