Virginia State Senator Charles “Bill” Carrico Sr. (R) has become the latest swing state-Republican to propose a scheme to rig presidential elections for future Republican candidates. Blue Virginia reports his proposed SB 723 would award the state’s electors based on which candidate gets the majority of votes in each gerrymandered Congressional district — rather than based on who gets the most votes statewide.
The Carrico bill would award one of Virginia’s 13 electoral votes to the presidential candidate who gets the most votes in each of the Commonwealth’s 11 Congressional Districts. The remaining two electors would go to the candidate who won the majority of Congressional Districts. With a Republican-controlled redistricting passed earlier this year, Virginia Democrats were heavily packed into three districts. Under these maps, Obama won Virginia by almost a 4 point margin, yet he carried just four Virginia Congressional Districts. Were Carrico’s scheme in place, Mitt Romney would have received seven of Virginia’s 11 electoral votes despite receiving just 47.28% of the vote statewide.
Carrico’s proposal is part of a troubling national trend by Republican legislators in GOP-controlled states won by President Obama in the 2008 and 2012 elections. The Pennsylvania Senate Majority Leader and Ohio Secretary of State have suggested similar schemes in those states. While constitutional, the scheme would make it far more likely that the popular choice for president would not be elected to that office. No such efforts have emerged in GOP-controlled states won by the Republican nominees.
Indeed, if this plan to rig the Electoral College had been law in several key Republican-controlled states that President Obama won last month, America would now be looking at a very different future. Had the Carrico plan been instituted for the 2012 elections in Florida, Michigan, Ohio, Virginia, and Wisconsin, it is quite likely Mitt Romney would be the president-elect despite President Obama’s 51–47 majority.