Defending his performance managing Ohio’s election, Husted argued that because of the high stakes involved with being an electoral vote-rich swing state, Ohio’s elections chief is always scrutinized and criticized. (Funny, we don’t remember that happening in 2008, but that’s beside the point).
Husted’s solution to this perceived problem of Democrats and the national media picking on him? He says we should make Ohio less important in the election by dividing up our electoral votes by Congressional district.
This is huge and should raise giant red flags. Under the current winner-take-all system, Obama won all 18 of Ohio’s electoral votes. Under Husted’s plan, 12 of those 18 electoral votes would be handed to Mitt Romney, the popular vote loser.
The reason for this is Ohio’s incredibly gerrymandered Congressional districts have been drawn to pack Democrats together so they have the majority in only 4 of the state’s 16 congressional districts. In addition to winning those four — assuming Husted would have us adopt the electoral vote allocation used by Maine and Nebraska, the only states to split their EVs by Congressional district — Obama would have also gotten the two at-large electoral votes bringing the final tally to 6 for Obama and 12 for Romney.
Outrageous right? Explained as a fix for the (he says undeserved) national attention he’s received, Jon Husted just put a plan on the table that would have handed Mitt Romney the majority of Ohio’s electoral sway.
And we thought with the election behind us, Jon Husted’s bad ideas were too. We were wrong.
Updated: partial audio and transcript is now available thanks to Ohio Public Radio.
For Ohioans who are tired of hearing Republicans and Democrats argue over election rules, the state’s top elections official has a theoretical solution. Secretary of State Jon Husted says Ohio could apportion its Electoral College votes in the presidential race in a proportional way, giving even the loser a big chunk of votes. That’s the way only two other states do it, but Husted says at least it would dampen partisan conflict because Ohio would no longer be such a prize.
Husted: “It will not be a winner-take-all state, and you would not have another elections controversy about Ohio because we would not matter as much anymore.”
Video of Thursday’s event should be online by early next week.