Monday, December 3, 2012

Pileggi revisits electoral college proposal

Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi, R-9, of Chester, has plans to introduce legislation again that would make changes to the way Pennsylvania awards its electoral votes in presidential elections.

Currently, the state uses a winner-take-all system of awarding electoral votes, according to Pileggi. He said his legislation would allocate electoral votes proportionately.

“Under the proportional proposal, two of Pennsylvania’s 20 electors are chosen on a statewide, at-large basis (representing the two senatorial electors),” Pileggi wrote in the co-sponsorship memo. “The remaining 18 electors are chosen based on the percentage of the statewide vote earned by each candidate (rounded to the thousandths). 

“For example, President Obama won 52.088% of the vote in November,” Pileggi wrote the memo. “Under this system, he would have received 12 of Pennsylvania’s 20 electors (the two statewide electors plus 10 of the 18 remaining electors, which would be distributed proportionately).”

“This advantage of this system is clear: It much more accurately reflects the will of the voters in our state,” he said.

Pennsylvania Democratic Party Chairman Jim Burn called Pileggi’s plan “ultimate sour grapes.”

“After getting swept in statewide elections, Pennsylvania Republicans are trying to change the rules to help Republican politicians,” Burn said in a prepared statement. “Pennsylvania Republicans already passed Voter ID, which the courts prevented from taking effect in 2012, now they are again trying to pass a bill that changes the rules simply to benefit Republican politicians who have been rejected by the majority of Pennsylvanians. Instead trying to pass partisan legislation that only helps Republican politicians at the expense of Pennsylvanians, Republicans should focus on helping the middle class - something they have failed to do. Tom Corbett should reject this plan and urge Harrisburg Republicans to focus on the economy and the middle class.”
Pileggi noted that his latest proposal is not the same as his previous proposal in Senate Bill 1282.

“That legislation would have allocated electors based on a district system,” he said.

Under the previous plan, candidates would have garnered an electoral vote for each of the state’s 18 congressional districts that they carry; the other two electoral votes would have gone to the winner of the statewide balloting.

Pileggi’s previous proposal took heat from both Republicans and Democrats.

For example, Pennsylvania Republican Party Chairman Rob Gleason believed the party could carry the state in 2012 and questioned why proponents were so eager to change the system. And Democrats argued the proposal was unconstitutional and would rig election results.


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