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Virginia GOP Advances Bill to Rig Electoral College

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GOP Advances Bill to Rig Electoral College

Bill would base electoral vote distribution on gerrymandered districts

RICHMOND, Va. – A Republican-controlled subcommittee on Tuesday advanced a bill that would rig Virginia’s electoral college system by awarding votes based on gerrymandered Congressional districts.

The bill will come before the full Privileges and Elections Committee on Friday, Jan. 27 at 9:30 a.m. in the 9th Floor Appropriations Room of the General Assembly Building. A livestream of the committee will be available online at eyesonrichmond.org, courtesy of Progress Virginia.

“Virginia is one of the most gerrymandered states in the country, and now House Republicans want to base our system of electing a president off of boundaries they drew to benefit themselves,” said House Democratic Leader David J. Toscano. “A system in which politicians have strategically chosen their voters and drawn out opponents is not democratic; it’s rigged. Voters deserve to choose their representatives, but in Virginia, it’s the other way around. We call upon the Speaker of the House to immediately send a redistricting amendment to the floor for a full vote.”

“HB 1425 is a distressing and disenfranchising piece of legislation,” said Caucus Chair Charniele Herring. “Because our Congressional districts are so gerrymandered, this bill will distort election results and dilute the power of individual voters. There should be no further action on this proposal until lawmakers are no longer drawing the lines. We look forward to a full floor vote on an amendment to create an independent redistricting commission.”

Speaker of the House William J. Howell still has not responded to Toscano’s formal request for a full floor vote on a redistricting amendment.

  • True Blue

    Double jeopardy? My fear is that people will just stop voting because they already have proof that their (nearly 3 million votes) don’t count. This could work for or against either party; just because Republicans are control freaks doesn’t mean they’ll be in power forever.

  • Even if congressional districts weren’t gerrymandered, this change would significantly tilt presidential elections in favor of the GOP. Bush v. Gore in 2000 was one of the closest elections in our history. Bush lost the popular vote by half a percentage point but carried the electoral vote 271-266 (one Gore elector abstained). But an analysis at the time showed that if all states had allocated electoral votes by congressional district, Bush would have won by 39 electoral votes. The margin would be more lopsided now because states considering this change have Republican legislatures but generally go Democrat in presidential elections. So, only electoral votes from Democrat-leaning states would be divided.

  • From the Virginia House Dems:

    Under Pressure, GOP Kills Their Own Bill to Rig Electoral College

    RICHMOND, Va. – Under intense criticism from national media, a Republican lawmaker whose legislation would rig Virginia’s electoral college system today asked the House Privileges and Elections Committee to kill his own bill.

    Yesterday, Salon published an article on HB 1425, which would have awarded electoral college votes based on gerrymandered districts, under the headline: “Gerrymandering for 2020: Virginia Republicans are trying to rig Electoral College votes for next election.”

    “Virginia is one of the most gerrymandered states in the nation, and awarding electoral votes based on those districts only further rigs the system,” said House Democratic Leader David J. Toscano. “I commend Delegate Mark Cole for withdrawing this bill, and I look forward to Speaker Howell’s response to my request for a full floor vote on a proposed amendment to create an independent redistricting commission. Voters should be choosing their representatives, but in Virginia it’s the other way around.”

    “HB 1425 would have distorted presidential election results and diluted the power of individual voters,” said Caucus Chair Charniele Herring. “Politicians should not be able to strategically draw boundaries to ensure their perpetual incumbency. We eagerly await a full floor vote on a redistricting amendment. It’s time to make elections fair.”

    Speaker of the House William J. Howell still has not responded to Toscano’s formal request for a full floor vote on a redistricting amendment.

  • bardgal

    The National GOP have already “rigged” the EC. All they need is to keep control of those 33 red states, even if they manage to get their dream of turning those states into a toxic wasteland, as long as a single registered Republican resides in that state and votes, those single GOP votes in those 33 red states, will override the population of Earth if it lived in the other 17. That’s how broken the EC is, and completely Unconstitutional per the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th amendment.

    • Agreed, our electoral system is badly broken.