Republican State Legislators Can Win The 2012 Election Tomorrow If They Want To

“Pennsylvania Ponders Bold Democrat-Screwing Electoral Plan” is Dave Weigel’s brilliant headline for a proposal pending in the PA state legislature. The way this would work is for Pennsylvania to combine aggressive gerrymandering with the adoption of a Nebraska-style divvying up of electoral votes by congressional district, to turn a fairly reliable Democratic source of electoral votes into Perry state.

Some people are noting that there are other states, most notably Wisconsin and Michigan, where the legislature can pull something similar. It’s worth noting, however, that under the U.S. Constitution, the discretion of state legislatures in allocating electoral votes is absolute. There’s no requirement that Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, or any of these other states hold any form of election. They could pass a law tomorrow saying delegating the selection of electors to Reince Priebus. This slightly addled constitutional provision has just been lurking around like a time bomb for over 100 years waiting for someone to push the envelop.