Sunday, September 18, 2011

Electoral reform or politics as usual?

Pennsylvania's Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pilleggi is pushing a bill that would allocate the state's 20 electoral votes according to which candidate wins in each congressional district. For example, in 2008 Obama won the majority of votes in 9 congressional districts, while McCain won 10. Obama won the overall popular vote in the state and received all 21 electoral votes, but under Pileggi's proposal he would have received nine electoral votes for each congressional district he won, plus two votes (representing PA's U.S. senators) awarded to the winner of the state's overall popular vote, making Obama's PA electoral vote total 11 and awarding McCain 10. (Nebraska used such a system in 2008.)

On the surface this proposal makes the electoral college seem less arbitrary, but I agree with the author: Pilleggi's proposal would make the already controversial process of gerrymandering more heated with a national election in mind. Is this bill the right step in electoral reform, or, as many Democrats fear, a political ploy?

1 comment:

Colin said...

Nate Silver on why this plan is a terrible idea for everyone, including the Republicans proposing it: