Last week, a plan was introduced by Michigan state Rep. Pete Lund (R) that would essentially change the Electoral College to ensure wins by Republican presidential candidates in 2016 and beyond.
Proposals like Lund’s are popping up in states that usually lean Democratic but are currently controlled by Republicans, who are looking to use their newfound control as a means to rig elections in their favor as they know their time at the top is limited.
Basically every state in the country casts all of its electoral votes to whichever candidate wins the popular vote in that state. As ThinkProgress reported:
“Lund’s proposal would change that calculation in the blue state of Michigan, however, while continuing to award each red state’s full slate of electoral votes to the Republican candidate for president. If this plan had been in effect in 2012, for example, Mitt Romney would have won a quarter of Michigan’s electoral votes despite losing the state to President Obama by nearly 10 points.”
The legislation specifically says:
“Michigan would award at least 9 of its 16 electoral college votes to the winner of the popular vote in the presidential election. The top candidate would receive additional electoral votes based on how much they beat the second-place finisher by in one-on-one vote totals. Each 1.5 points above 50 would mean another electoral vote. Remaining electoral votes would go to the runner up. A candidate who finishes third or lower would not receive any.”
The problem with this proposal is, as Bridge Magazine explained, that “because of the way the state’s congressional districts are drawn, Republicans dominate the vast majority of districts even though overall state voting patterns trend Democratic.”
This would only amplify the problem caused by congressional gerrymandering that already exists to help the GOP win elections in districts they normally wouldn’t. This proposal would “shift the outcome of the presidential election,” ThinkProgress said.
This infographic from the Cook Political Report shows just how much of an effect an election-rigging scheme such as Lund’s would have had in 2012.
Amy is a writer and researcher with Ring of Fire. You can follow her on Twitter @AEddings31.