Two days after the election, Husted said if the state wanted to avoid controversies like the ones he caused, it could change its laws to drop its winner-take-all status in presidential elections. Gov. Tom Corbett (R) and other Republicans in Pennsylvania had unsuccessfully proposed a similar scheme in 2011 to allocate electors based on who wins each gerrymandered Congressional district — and also found with significant opposition. Now, Husted is distancing himself from his own proposal.
In an interview with the Cincinnati Inquirer, Husted claimed his original remarks were “badly taken out of context” and that he does not intend to push such a change:
“My response was that as long as Ohio was a winner-take-all state and maybe the most important swing state in the country, there is no election system that won’t be controversial,” Husted said Wednesday. “I said if the sole goal was to make Ohio elections less controversial, you could fix redistricting so that districts are drawn fairly and more competitive, and then apportion our electoral votes according to congressional districts. That was just a comment, not a proposal.”
Husted added, “I’ve got enough on my plate that needs to be done. … This isn’t one of those things.” Just two small states — Maine and Nebraska — allocate their electors based on Congressional districts.
It is noteworthy that Husted — who fiercely opposed a ballot initiative to create a non-partisan redistricting process in Ohio — tacitly concedes that the Republican gerrymander of the state was not “drawn fairly.” Even though Ohioans voted to re-elect President Obama and Sen. Sherrod Brown (D) statewide, the party won 12 of the state’s 16 Congressional seats in this year’s general elections.