Justice

Wisconsin GOP Now Considering Pennsylvania-Style Election Rigging Plan

Last month, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett (R-PA) announced a plan to rig the 2012 presidential election by effectively giving away up to a dozen of the state’s electoral votes to the Republican candidate. Now, as Dave Weigel reports, the Wisconsin GOP is considering the exact same plan:

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.” […]

In the 2008 election, a vote-split wouldn’t have made much of a difference for Wisconsin’s electors. Barack Obama took the state by 14 points, winning all but one of eight fairly un-gerrymandered congressional districts. But had this been in place four years earlier, John Kerry would have won only six of ten electoral votes — two statewide, one for each district. And Wisconsin hasn’t gone Republican since 1984, when Ronald Reagan defeated Walter Mondale by 9 points.

As Weigel notes, this effort to render democracy irrelevant in Wisconsin was inevitable. Indeed, ever since Gov. Scott Walker (R) was sworn in last January, Wisconsin has become ground zero for GOP efforts to ensure that only Republicans can win elections. Walker stripped state workers of their right to organize to strengthen the GOP’s position in the next election. He gutted the state’s public financing system, which allows candidates to run effective campaigns without pleading for money from big dollar donors, and used this money to pay for a voter ID scheme that disenfranchises thousands of poor, minority and student voters.