A Wisconsin state lawmaker wants to divvy the Badger state's 10 presidential electoral votes by Congressional district, instead of the current winner-take-all system that most states use.
GOP state Rep. Dan LeMagieu introduced legislation Wednesday that mirrored a plan Pennsylvania lawmakers were mulling in September, which Democrats labeled as a Republican ploy to deny President Barack Obama re-election.
My concern is protecting the vote of the people in the congressional districts, LeMagieu told the Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel.
Only Two States Allocate Electoral Votes by District
Only two states--Maine, with four electoral votes, and Nebraska, with five-- award their electoral votes to the winner of each House of Representatives district. In both states, the candidate that wins the popular vote gets two electoral votes.
In a large state like Pennsylvania, with 20 electoral votes, that could have major ramifications for presidential campaigns. Democrats have much to lose, as Pennsylvania last voted for a Republican in 1988.
If Pennsylvania had used a district-based system in 2008, Obama, who won the state with 54.7 percent, would have received only 11 electoral votes, with 10 electoral votes going to McCain.
The goal is to have the votes in the Electoral College more closely reflect the popular vote, Pennsylvania state Sen. Dominic Pileggi, told The New York Times in September.
The plan got support from Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett, a Republican, and GOP leaders in the legislature. Still, there were Republicans in Pennsylvania's U.S. House delegation who were lukewarm to the idea because the Obama campaign could compete harder in their districts, driving up the number of Democratic voters.
For Wisconsin, another state Obama won, the president would have received in 2008 nine electoral votes instead of 10.
Despite such a victory there in 2008, Wisconsin caught the Republican wave during the 2010 midterm elections, allowing the GOP to take over the statehouse, legislature, and pick up House seats.
Sees Idea As Electoral College Gerrymandering
The depths to which Republicans in Wisconsin will sink to rig elections appear to be bottomless, said Scot Ross, an executive director for a progressive communications group called One Wisconsin Now. Republicans are attacking the foundation of how Wisconsin participates in electing the President of the United States.