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Local Democrats Oppose Changing Va. Electoral Vote System

By: Frankie Jupiter Email
By: Frankie Jupiter Email

January 27, 2013

Some Virginia Republican lawmakers are trying to change the state's winner-takes-all method of apportioning presidential electoral votes.

The decision is being met with opposition from both sides of the political aisle.

"The Republicans are trying to gain leverage through the legislative process in a way that they couldn't do through the ballot box," said Del. David Toscano (D-57th District). "They didn't like the rule, so now they are going to try to change the rules so that they can change the results in the future."

The bill seeks to hand out electoral votes according to which candidate won each congressional district, instead of giving all the electoral votes to the popular vote winner.

"This is a way that you violate the principle of one person, one vote, and you totally change the rules of the game to advantage the republicans," said Toscano.

Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus and other Republican leaders have expressed support for the idea.

Republican Gov. Bob McDonnell, though, does not support the bill. A spokesman for McDonnell says the governor "believes Virginia's system works just fine."

Hypothetically, if this law was in place last year, Mitt Romney would have won nine electoral votes in November, and Barack Obama would have won four. Toscano says it could have change the vote dramatically.

The bill still needs to pass the full Senate and the House.

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