Coming off an election year marred by attempts to disenfranchise Democratic voters, Republicans around the country are already gearing up for the midterm elections with more antidemocratic initiatives.

This time it’s Virginia’s plan to rig the Electoral College, an idea which Jon Husted floated in November for Ohio and which has also been proposed in Pennsylvania. Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus has also endorsed the idea.

Here’s how it works:
There are 9 swing states that gave Republicans control of redistricting in 2010, and they were gerrymandered with uncompetitive House districts. Of these, there are 7 where Republicans have unitary government and can pass whatever they’d like.

If these 9 states follow the Virginia plan to allocate EC votes along gerrymandered Congressional lines, the Republican candidate would almost always get:

19-10 FL
15-5 PA
14-4 OH
11-5 MI
10-3 VA
7-3 WI
11-4 NC
8-2 MO
4-2 IA

That’s a total of 99 GOP electoral votes to 38 Dem votes. To be fair, around 5 of those districts will be swing districts.

Adding that to the baseline of uncompetitive states (181 GOP to 196 Dem), that gives you the electoral starting point of:

280 safe GOP electors
234 safe Dem electors
24 swing electors

Or rather, it will be impossible for a Democrat to ever be elected president, and America will no longer be an electoral democracy.

Husted isn’t floating “hey, let’s try this wacky idea”. He’s floating “let’s not have elections anymore”.

Sure, new districts would come in 2022. But are we really going to win state legislatures in 2020, when Pres. Santorum is running for reelection in a sham race?

The Dems don’t even have a veto point in any states beyond MO and IA. Even if those states block the vote-rigging proposal, we’re at 265 safe GOP votes, with ties broken by a guaranteed GOP House. That means that a Dem would have to sweep MO, IA, NH, CO, NM, and NV. Not unthinkable—Obama took all but MO—but LBJ and Reagan are the only people to sweep all of those states.

I guess the upside of constantly comparing Obama to Stalin is that is frees you to actually propose that we elect our presidents the way the USSR elected their Premiere. Because what are we gonna say?


Luke Brockmeier is a former organizer with America Votes and Planned Parenthood Southwest Ohio Region. He ran for State Representative and is currently doing freelance work in Cincinnati.

  • Relax, Mr Brockmeier, you think the voters of Ohio would allow such legislation to proceed without a referendum to overturn it (think SB 5/ Issue 2)?

  • True. But we shouldn’t let them get away with floating it. It’s really beyond the pale.

  • NoVestedInterest

    Jim, the voters of Ohio allowed the 2010 redistricting to stand. Never underestimate the ability of the voters to be mislead or remain uninformed.

  • …And they stopped SB 5 in its track 62-38%. The same coalition will have no trouble organizing and sending that message again…stop the scare mongering…

  • anastasiap

    I’m with Jim on this. This is so blatant and easy to understand it would be SB 5 all over. (The voters never had a chance to weigh in on the redistricting of 2010 so we have no idea what they would have done.) It would probably doom Kasich’s reelection, probably the entire GOP ticket’s (bye bye Joshie! Hopefully we’ll be saying that anyway). There’s a reason that Husted quickly backed off ownership of the idea once Plunderbund exposed it and it started to get traction nationally. He had to pretend like it wasn’t something he was really PROPOSING, he just sort of was MENTIONING it. And there’s a reason it died in Virginia today after a storm of outrage created its introduction into the legislature there.

    Blowback is working and we need to keep the pressure on.

  • NoVestedInterest

    It was the power of union members and their families, many of whom are not or were not Democrats, that stopped SB5.

  • NoVestedInterest

    The voters – the populace – of Ohio had plenty chance to voice opinion on redistricting. – It was well known that redistricting was going to occur and a much better redistricting map – at least one but more than one – had been prepared.

  • You saw no campaign to support redistricting, no TV ads, nothing. What you expect to happen last Nov? And its always easier to win a referendum when your side is the “No” vote and the other side if off the air. Why you think the repeal of SB 5 was so decisive? It had the better media campaign and ground game the other side could only dream about. “We Are Ohio” (the grass roots coalition that killed SB 5) is still alive and well and just itching to take on this issue (Electoral Rigging) or another “Right-To-Work” ballot initiative (aka 1958). And remember, all those nurses, schoolteachers, police, firefighters, Teamsters, and UAW folks have parents, neighbors, spouses, who will support them again…Count on it! You can bet Kasich and the other state GOP big shots know this too…James, Cols

  • The voters of Ohio must never relax, as long as the current GOP controls our state legislature. We must always be vigilant and ready to take action at a moment’s notice. That’s not fear mongering… it’s the simple truth.

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