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Michigan Republican Party officially on board with election rigging scheme

by: Eric B.

Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 13:13:35 PM EST

When you don't feel you can compete fairly, you change the rules so that you win unfairly. I give you today's Republican Party.

Lansing — Republicans handed Bobby Schostak another two-year term as state chairman Saturday and overwhelmingly endorsed a plan to change Michigan presidential electoral vote rules in a way opponents charge is intended to distort election results in favor of GOP candidates.

By a 1,370-132 margin at the party convention in Lansing, GOP members approved a resolution backing a proposal from Rep. Pete Lund, R-Shelby Township, to divvy-up 14 of the state's 16 electoral votes according to which candidate got the most votes in each congressional district. The other two would go to the state-wide vote total winner.

That switch from a winner-take-all formula that has been in effect 175 years could water down the dominance Democrats have had in Michigan in presidential elections for the last 24 years.

This is a sign of a structural weakness in the Michigan Republican Party. Keep in mind that if Michigan is alone in doing this, and it appears that we mostly are, that it'll be Michigan that will be marginalized instead of getting attention every four years. And, since the number of Electoral College votes is pretty small, and since my guess is any attempt to ungerrymander legislative districts will be met with by a very accepting public (who mostly hate state government), then the advantage will be very short lived. They'll do all this work to pick up three or four electoral college votes.

Benevolent overlord Rick Michigan in the past has been very cool to it. It would be on his agenda right before the next Census, he says. What's that aphorism about cows?

Bill Ballenger, publisher of the Inside Michigan Politics newsletter, speculated Snyder is again seeing bills he vetoed or discouraged last year because he has signaled he is flexible.

"I think there has been this feeling that just because he says 'no' doesn't mean he's unalterably opposed," he said. "He's persuadable, in other words."

In other words, they think he's got no more belly for a fight than did Jennifer Granholm, that when it comes time to put together a legislative package for road funding that he'll be willing to deal on really noxious shit to get it through.

Eric B. :: Michigan Republican Party officially on board with election rigging scheme
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Running the Numbers for 2012...
EC Votes79
EC Votes / 1M Votes2.734.25

So proportionally an Obama voter gets only 2.73 / 4.25 = 64% as many Electoral College votes as a Romney vote.

The winner-take-all system we use certainly has its drawbacks, but pushing for a system that awards only 44% of the Electoral College votes to a candidate that wins nearly 55% of the total vote just sounds like a PR disaster waiting to happen.

The fine print: Obama and Romney together got roughly 99% of the vote, so for simplicity I just dropped votes for other candidates in the above table since none of them carried any congressional districts. I grabbed the numbers from this Wikipedia article.

Repubs in PA
as well as Ohio and WI are also mulling such a plan. They are truly desperate, and dead serious about trying to push this through... the question is will the voters pay attention to their blatantly partisan effort to rig the vote in their favor.

Note that 90% of attendees at the Repub convention were in favor of cheating.

There are, so far, no plans to do this in Texas... only in blue states with Republican gerrymanders. Gee, I wonder why?

They keep
They keep pushing it, but I felt the tiniest bit of heartened that along with Snyder and Richardville - who are always cagey - Bolger also said in kind of unequivical terms that this was a no-go.  Usually, he's the one either supporting this crazy bull, or at least indicating being opened to it.

To be sure, we must remain vigilant.  I do not trust Republicans any further than I can throw them.  But, the base of the MIGOP is going to have to really want this - even more than they wanted to Right-to-Work-for-Less - to even get this on the legislative agenda.  So, keep an eye out of this, but the MIGOP base shouldn't be holding their breaths, either.

[ Parent ]
Somehow, I think that Bolger might be a little reluctant to openly manipulate elections in the immediate future (outside of voter ID laws, but there is, at least, a superficially plausible defense for them).

[ Parent ]
They'll wait
until they think there won't be time for the courts to stop their plan, then it will suddenly be "on the agenda". Or perhaps the next lame duck session will increase their bravery. Rest assured, this will not die a quiet death. Their best effort at suppressing the vote failed to gain them the presidency, so they'll just steal it. After all, it's not like they can win it fair and square. It's time for a ballot initiative to set up a non-partisan redistricting commission. Minority rule is getting old.

[ Parent ]
If, say, they can get half the GOP caucus to sign on, I think they'll take notice, but short of that, the guy on a grand jury for trying to rig an election is not going to initiate this.  Hopefully, he'll be gone by the time the clock runs down.  Either way, it'll take an ungodly lift to get this through the House, the Senate, and then convince Snyder this is a good idea.  Right-to-Work-for-Less got through on election threats to Republican leaders.  Unless there is some serious money behind this push, this is just a barking dog.

[ Parent ]

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