In multiple states that helped push President Barack Obama to victory in the 2012 election, Republican-controlled legislatures are introducing electoral changes that they believe will help their chances in the future.Earlier this week in Virginia, Senate Republicans advanced a plan that would radically change how the state’s electoral votes are allocated. It would grant an electoral vote to the winner of each of Virginia’s 11 Congressional districts. The state’s remaining two electoral votes would be given to the winner of the most districts in the state.
The plan has gotten some backlash from critics, who charge that it is a partisan attempt to unfairly swing future presidential elections in Republicans’ favour.
Virginia is just one of many states considering similar changes. Here’s a breakdown of others:
- In Pennsylvania, a bill failed in committee that would have split the state’s 20 electoral votes based on the winner of congressional districts. Republican Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi, has said he plans to introduce another in early February that would allocate votes based on the percentage of the popular vote.
- In Michigan, Republican state Rep. Pete Lund plans to introduce a bill similar to the one introduced in Virginia, which would divide Electoral College votes according to winners of the state’s Congressional districts.
- In Ohio, a hotly-contested battleground state, Republican Secretary of State Jon Husted has floated the idea of switching the winner-take-all state to allocation by district. But he’s added “it’s not something I am advocating for.”
- In Wisconsin, no proposals have yet been introduced but Gov. Scott Walker recently dropped hints that he might consider Electoral College changes, saying it was an “interesting idea” but not one of his top priorities.
- And in Florida, some Republicans have expressed interest in making changes. It seems unlikely that any measure would advance as of now, however, since the state’s Republican House Speaker Will Weatherford has come out strongly against the idea.
Two states, Maine and Nebraska, already split their electoral votes. Obama won all four of Maine’s electoral votes last year, and Romney won all five from Nebraska. The changes, however, would likely result in a more divided outcome in some states, particularly traditional swing states.
This isn’t the first time changes to the electoral college have been proposed. According to the Washington Post, several measures have been introduced by Democrats over the past decade, all with the same rationale of giving more say to voters on the losing side.
None of those measures ever made it out of committee.
NOW WATCH: Briefing videos
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.