The Washington Post

"If you can't win, cheat"

A story that should register higher on the political-outrage meter (POM) is a concerted Republican campaign to subvert our democracy by rigging our elections.

As has been well documented, in 2012 Republicans pursued a voter suppression strategy to selectively suppress turnout among Democratic constituencies. The courts, in some instances, struck down these efforts, and resentment toward them may have fueled greater turnout, but the scope of them was breathtaking. If you are interested, read Elizabeth Drew's summary here. This is one of our most astute and balanced observers of our politics for more than 40 years and she doesn’t contain her anger.                       

Perhaps recognizing the limitations of keeping voters from the polls, Republicans have designed a new strategy for 2016: Selective changes to the electoral college that only favor Republican presidential candidates.

Currently, in all but two states, electoral college votes are allocated on a winner-take-all stasis. Republicans, who for years have toiled to capture the low interest, backwater of U.S. politics, state legislatures, to control redistricting of congressional seats, now want to leverage selectively their advantage to rewrite the rules of presidential elections. Their proposal is to award electoral votes proportionally by congressional district, the very districts they gerrymandered, stuffing as many Democrats as possible into the fewest districts possible. This is how Republicans have solidified their advances in congressional elections; now, in a select number of battleground states where they control the legislatures and the congressional delegations, they want to award electoral votes by congressional district thus off-setting the trends in popular vote favoring Democrats. To see how such a scheme would have changed the 2012 results, check here.

Let's call this attempted hijacking of our elections what it is: a continuing and shameless effort by Republicans to fix elections in their favor. “If you can’t win, cheat” is the motto of these thieves of democracy.


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