George Will: Pileggi Electoral College Plan Defies Founders

By Keegan Gibson, Managing Editor

Influential conservative columnist George Will this weekend took a strong stand against plans by some Republicans to tinker with Pennsylvania’s Electoral College.

A proposal by PA Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi would end the winner-take-all system for the state’s 20 electoral votes. Instead, votes would be spilt up according to the winner of each congressional district (plus two to the statewide winner).

“Republicans supposedly revere the Constitution, but in its birthplace, Pennsylvania, they are contemplating a subversion of the Framers’ institutional architecture,” Will wrote in a Friday column. “Their ploy — partisanship masquerading as altruism about making presidential elections more ‘democratic’ — will weaken resistance to an even worse change being suggested.”

The plan has drawn nearly universal fire from Democrats (the PA Dems flagged Will’s piece), and mixed reactions from many Republicans. Governor Tom Corbett has said he would sign such legislation.

Read Will’s entire column here.

October 10th, 2011 | Posted in Front Page Stories, Harrisburg, Presidential, Top Stories | 4 Comments

4 thoughts on “George Will: Pileggi Electoral College Plan Defies Founders”

  1. oldgulph says:

    I should have been clearer.

    The candidate with the most popular votes in all 50 states AND DC would get the 270+ electoral votes from the enacting states.

  2. oldgulph says:

    The District of Columbia has enacted the National Popular Vote bill.

    Under National Popular Vote, every vote, everywhere, would be politically relevant and equal in every presidential election. Every vote would be included in the national count. The candidate with the most popular votes in all 50 states would get the 270+ electoral votes from the enacting states. That majority of electoral votes guarantees the candidate with the most popular votes in all 50 states wins the presidency.

  3. Pam says:

    How would the popular vote plan affect Washington, D.C. voters?

  4. oldgulph says:

    Given the choice, most Pennsylvania and U.S. voters want a national popular vote.

    A survey of 800 Pennsylvania voters conducted in December 2008 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.

    In Pennsylvania, the National Popular Vote bill has been introduced in both the House (HB 1270) and Senate (SB 1116)

    Under National Popular Vote, every vote, everywhere, would be politically relevant and equal in every presidential election. Every vote would be included in the national count. The candidate with the most popular votes in all 50 states would get the 270+ electoral votes from the enacting states. That majority of electoral votes guarantees the candidate with the most popular votes in all 50 states wins the presidency.

    National Popular Vote would give a voice to the minority party voters in each state and district (in ME and NE). Now their votes are counted only for the candidate they did not vote for. Now they don’t matter to their candidate.

    With National Popular Vote, elections wouldn’t be about winning states or districts (in ME and NE). No more distorting and divisive red and blue state maps. Every vote, everywhere would be counted equally for and directly assist the candidate for whom it was cast.

    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 Republican voters, Democratic voters, and independent voters, as well as every demographic group surveyed in virtually every state surveyed in recent polls in 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: 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 get elected.

    The bill has passed 31 state legislative chambers, in 21 small, medium-small, medium, and large states, including one house in AR, CT, DE, DC, ME, MI, NV, NM, NY, NC, and OR, and both houses in CA, CO, HI, IL, NJ, MD, MA, RI, VT, and WA. The bill has been enacted by DC (3), HI (4), IL (19), NJ (14), MD (11), MA (10), CA (55), VT (3), and WA (13). These 9 jurisdictions possess 132 electoral votes — 49% of the 270 necessary to bring the law into effect.

    NationalPopularVote

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