By Keegan Gibson, Managing Editor
If so, then the odds are you’ll soon be receiving a robocall urging you to oppose PA Sen. Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi’s controversial Electoral College plan. Pileggi has proposed switching Pennsylvania’s electoral votes from the current winner-take-all system, to one based on outcomes by congressional district.
“Some politicians in Harrisburg want to divide Pennsylvania’s votes between presidential candidates based on the number of congressional districts they win,” the call says.
“If this election-rigging scheme goes through, your vote will matter less, and it will hurt Pennsylvania’s importance as a key presidential state.”
Jeff Garis, the PA Political Director of America Votes, confirmed to PoliticsPA that the robocall buy is massive: targeted to approximately 600,000 SEPA Republican frequent voters.
According to its website, America Votes is a 527 organization that aims to, “advance progressive policies, expand access to the ballot, coordinate issue advocacy and election campaigns, and protect every American’s right to vote.”
The Electoral College was a hot topic in Harrisburg today. Former Senator and GOP presidential contender Fred Thompson came to town to plug the National Popular Vote Initiative (read PoliticsPA’s interview with Thompson here).
And Laura Olson of the Post-Gazette reports on this morning’s hearing of the PA Senate State Government Committee, where lawmakers debated the changes:
Luke Bernstein, deputy chief of staff to Mr. Corbett, [and former Executive Director of the PA Republican Party] said the current winner-takes-all system disenfranchises those who vote for the losing presidential candidate. He pointed to the 1988 election, in which Democrat Michael Dukakis lost by only 100,000 votes in Pennsylvania to Republican George H. W. Bush, but that all 25 electoral votes went to Mr. Bush.
“We need to let each voter and each region of this state choose which candidate they think best represents their interests,” Mr. Bernstein said.
But a panel of political scientists from two Pennsylvania colleges suggested that the switch would potentially decrease voter turnout, particularly in districts that are heavily dominated by one political party.
That change also is flawed in its reliance on congressional districts, which Chris Borick of Muhlenberg College in Allentown described as “gerrymandered monstrosities” that are “the product of partisan efforts to secure certain outcomes.”
Here’s the full call transcript:
I’m calling on behalf of America Votes about Pennsylvania’s role in electing the President of the United States.
In sports, it’s common sense that the team that scores the most points wins. It’s also common sense that Pennsylvania’s electoral votes should go to the candidate who gets the most votes.
But some politicians in Harrisburg want to divide Pennsylvania’s votes between presidential candidates based on the number of congressional districts they win.
If this election-rigging scheme goes through, your vote will matter less, and it will hurt Pennsylvania’s importance as a key presidential state.
Push 1 if you will join me in keeping Pennsylvania’s importance as a key state and oppose this proposal.
Paid for by America Votes PA. 610-310-7551