Pennsylvania state Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi (R) wants to rig the Electoral College to put a Republican in the White House, and he convinced half of the GOP’s 26 member state senate caucus to co-sponsor a bill that attempts to do so. Under Pileggi’s election-rigging plan, the blue state of Pennsylvania would give many of its electoral votes to the Republican Party’s presidential candidate — Mitt Romney would have won 8 of the state’s 20 electors under this plan — while red states will continue to allocate all of their electoral votes to the Republican candidate as well.
At least one of Pileggi’s fellow Republicans, however, does not support this plan to rig future elections. In video of a recent town hall meeting first posted by People for the American Way, state Sen. Chuck McIlhinney (R-PA) comes out against the bill:
QUESTION: I just had a question about a bill that Senator Pileggi had, that we have been hearing a lot in the press about, that changes the Electoral College votes. What is your stance on that? What is your position on that and why?
MCILHINNEY: The Electoral College — what they are trying to say is that you have a proportionate amount of votes you need, or we have 20 electoral college votes and they should be based upon a proportionate of the number of people who voted in Pennsylvania. Now, under that system, I could never see a Presidential candidate ever getting more than 11 to 9, no matter who it is. Because I am never going to see a candidate win 75% of the vote in Pennsylvania. So you could never even get more than 11 let alone 20. Which makes no sense to me whatsoever. . . . It will force us into a state that will only have two electoral college votes depending on which way you go with it. So, I won’t support it. I don’t think it’s gonna come up.
But that’s the logic is to say that every vote should count. So, even if your candidate lost, you’re still gaining him some Electoral College votes in that Electoral College. But it really was poorly thought out, if I can say that. I respect Senator Pileggi a lot but I wouldn’t support it.
McIlhinney’s statement is good news for American democracy, but it is not enough in and of itself to stop Pennsylvania Republicans from moving forward with their election-rigging plan. Currently, Republicans control 27 of 50 seats in the state senate plus the lieutenant governorship, so a total of three Republicans must oppose rigging the Electoral College in order to kill Pileggi’s plan.