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Slate: PA Electoral College Plan Pops Up in Wisconsin

By Keegan Gibson, Managing Editor

Call us trendsetters. A plan to change Pennsylvania’s distribution of Electoral College votes has now spread to Wisconsin.

Republican lawmakers there have begun circulating legislation to switch the state from a winner-take-all system, to one where votes are primarily determined by congressional district. PA Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi (R-Delaware) proposed the idea in September.

Supporters say such a plan would give a stronger voice to those voters whose voices aren’t being heard under the current system.

Critics, like PA Sen. Daylin Leach (D-Delaware/Montgomery) argue that the plan is a GOP power grab, and predicted that it was likely to catch on only in states controlled by Republicans that typically go “blue” in Presidential years. He named Wisconsin and Ohio as possible candidates.

According to Dave Weigel at Slate, he was right:

Prepare to be shocked. In Wisconsin, Republican Rep. Dan LeMahieu is asking his colleagues to sign onto a bill that would change the state’s method of picking electoral college electors — a plan identical to the one alive, if losing some steam, in Pennsylvania.

“This bill would change Wisconsin to a state using the Congressional District Method,” explains LeMahieu in a letter to colleagues. “Each congressional district would choose their own Electoral College vote based on the popular vote in that congressional district and the 2 at large votes would be decided by the popular vote of the entire state.”

His dear-colleague missive comes with some fresh rationales for the split. “This method would better protect the votes in each congressional district,” LeMahieu writes. “If I live in a congressional district that votes for a candidate that loses the statewide vote this method would allow my district to cast a vote for the candidate the majority of the voters in that district supported. This method would also decrease the incentive for fraud because you would only be affecting the outcome of one congressional district and the two at large votes, instead of all ten votes.”

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One Response

  1. The congressional district method is an improvement on the winner take all approach.
    Proportional allocation of electors would be better yet. The elector system has some advantages over popular vote in that some states have a lower percentage of voters.

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