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Florida Electoral College Change Not Likely

While some states are eyeing a switch that would award Electoral College votes based on how a Congressional district votes, Florida’s State House Speaker Will Weatherford says it’s a bad idea. Do you agree?

If all the states eyeing a change in how they award Electoral College votes, plus Florida, had made changes in advance of the 2012 presidential election, Gov. Mitt Romney would be in the White House today and President Barack Obama would be relegated to the pages of history.

That, according to the Miami Herald, is a prospect that has some Republicans jumping on the band wagon to alter how states award their Electoral College votes.

How it Works

Right now, Electoral College votes in most states are awarded based on a winner-takes-all system. The popular vote deems who gets every vote assigned to a state. The proposed changes would make it so Electoral College votes in states considering a switch would be awarded based on how congressional districts vote. This means a state’s votes could be split among candidates.

Florida Republicans Aren't Keen on the Idea

But, even as the Republican National Committee’s chairman seems to relish the idea, one powerful Florida lawmaker is opposed.

State House Speaker Will Weatherford, R-Wesley Chapel, says changing the system is a bad idea.

 "I don't think we need to change the rules of the game, I think we need to get better," Weatherford told the Herald.

States eyeing a change are those whose Electoral College votes went to Obama in 2012 despite the fact the Republicans control legislatures. They include Virginia, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Michigan, according to the Washington Post.

Florida Senate President Don Gaetz isn’t keen on the idea being tossed around in the other swing states. He, however, has his own opinions on how to fix the Electoral College.

 "I think we should abolish the Electoral College but nobody in Washington has called to ask for my opinion," Gaetz told the Herald.

How the Bay Voted in 2012

During the 2012 Presidential Election, 52 percent of Pinellas County’s voters cast their ballots in favor of Obama. Romney garnered 46 percent of the vote, according to the Pinellas County Supervisor of Elections Office.

In nearby Pasco, however, voters favored Romney. The former Massachusetts governor took 52.48 percent of that county’s votes. Obama captured 45.86 percent.

If Florida adopted a system of awarding votes similar to that being considered in other states, Pasco’s voters may have helped Romney earn some of Florida’s 29 Electoral College votes.

Harborites, what do you think about changing the Electoral College? Is Weatherford right that Republicans just need to get better? Do you agree with Gaetz that the Electoral College should just be abolished all together? Share your thoughts in the comments section.

Harborite January 29, 2013 at 12:01 PM
Republicans hope that by changing the Electoral College in just a few swing states like Virginia, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Michigan, they can actually lose the popular vote but still win the election. They now want to apportion all voters by congressional districts in the swing states instead of simply by popular vote. This may allow them to win when they actually lose. Since the demographics are changing in America which will likely result in the Republicans losing future Presidential elections, Republicans now want to change the rules and cheat the electoral system. It's funny how conservatives always tell us how we must strictly follow the intent of our Founding Fathers when interpreting the Constitution. Now it appears that Republicans no longer want to follow the Founding Father's intent to have an Electoral College with a winner-takes-all system in each of the individual states. These proposed electoral changes sound like another devious Karl Rove tactic to win elections at all costs. Since voter ID laws and voter suppression tactics didn't work in the 2012 election for Republicans, their new tactic is to change the rules and find a way to cheat our Electoral College system.
Jim Ault January 29, 2013 at 03:27 PM
If you think that the focus of campaigns is to bombard swing states, then going county-by-county is a funding distribution game changer. All the money and time would now pour into swing counties. This would not necessarily be based on the population in that county, since an electorial college vote is still a vote. I would not want to live in a swing county during an election year. No election system is perfect, and all parties do their best to exploit the opportunities to increase control and power. I agree that Republicans spend a lot of time emphasizing the wisdom of the Constitution as long as it aligns with their arguments, or at least their interpretation does. Real peoples lives, net worth, and success can be radically changed by the minority, whether it be voters in an election, or a small group of well-funded lobbyists. Since the current Republican party is in the voter minority, they should try to adjust and grow their party rather than 'reset the counting system'.
Robert Saltzman January 29, 2013 at 08:19 PM
Another gimmick. Next they are going to hire David Copperfield to see if can make the Democratic Party dissapear. They tried voter supression, that didn't work now they are monkeying around with the electorial vote. If they had annouced they were going to fix a horse race they would be locked up. They need to be stopped the system has worked and worked. Now they are out of favor so it is not working anymore? Please tell this Rinsed Peanut guy to STOP messing with our most sacred atribute that makes us a Democracy...our vote!!!
David Conkle January 29, 2013 at 09:47 PM
Pretty sad when a party can't win elections on the basis of their political platform and feel they need to rig the game to gain power. We so desperately need campaign finance reform and a real viable third party to offer another choice than what we have now.
Dan Pressler January 29, 2013 at 10:26 PM
I vote republican but I think EVERY state should go to this method - that would give parties a more accurate electoral vote - I am sure even in california there would be a couple of republican electors as well as some texan electors going democratic. Many people want to go to a purely popular vote - that would result in the smaller states being ignored even more than they are now. Why should people go to Alaska for 3 Electoral votes much less under 1 million popular votes.

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