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Changes proposed for Electoral College

January 30th, 2013

Republicans in Virginia have now created a proposal that could change how the commonwealth allocates its 13 electoral votes, according to CNN. Under this proposal, electoral votes would become divvied up with congressional districts that have won. During President Barack Obama’s re-election, the president won all 13 votes in Virginia even though his opponent, Mitt Romney, beat him in 7 out of 11 congressional districts.

This proposal is not just occurring in Virginia, one of the crucial battleground state during elections, but in other states as well, as many Republicans are trying to change the way these votes are allocated. Many states that Obama carried in the re-election are seeking effort to change how the Electoral College votes are being distributed. These states include Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin, Florida, Virginia and Pennsylvania. These states, according to NPR, are controlled by a GOP legislature as well as the governor’s office.

Virginia may be getting in a vote this week and therefore have a new way of awarding its electoral votes. This means that Virginia would award its electoral votes by congressional districts and set aside two votes for the candidate who carried most of the districts in the commonwealth.

Obama would have won four votes rather than 13 in November if the changes in the bill had been set in place during his reelection. The Electoral College is already unpopular to many Americans;  the idea of changing it doesn’t bring too many smiles, especially to Democrats. The communications director for the Wisconsin Democratic Party, Graeme Zielinski, stated that Republicans are trying to rig the process in order to win and seem consumed by this idea.

The change in the system would no doubt help out Republicans, and the GOP would dominate more districts because its voters are already so spread out. The proposing bill in Virginia may have been popular in some states that have GOP ruling legislatures, but all Republicans don’t exactly favor the idea. Many Republicans believe that these changes are only going to create a feud and therefore change the dynamic between the GOP and Democrats for a long set of years.

Republican Will Weatherford told the Miami Herald that the rules of the system don’t need changes; Republicans just need to get better. There is no agreement on the alternatives to the current system, but at the same time no one is satisfied with it, so reforms on the Electoral College are not expected to fall through.

Information from NPR was used in this article.