Virginia Republicans are plotting to have their state’s electoral votes split proportionately based on Congressional districts.
This is already the case with Maine and Nebraska, but since Virginia serves as a crucial and hard-fought swing state, with a growing and influential minority voting population, the move is being greeting with considerable apprehension.
“You want to make sure in any system put in place in any state that the outcome is reflective of the actual votes cast,” Hilary Shelton, senior vice president for advocacy at the NAACP, told Talking Points Memo. “What we have is a system that’s being proposed and actually moving forward in many ways that does not meet that criteria and that raises concerns for us.”
The GOP legislation, which seems poised to pass in a state with Republican governor and majority Republican legislature, would have delivered 9 of the state’s 13 electoral votes to Mitt Romney instead of President Barack Obama on Election Day last November.
The president won the winner take all state by a 50 to 47 margin, largely by dominating the more diverse urban centers of the state.
The states which currently allocate their electoral votes based on district rarely have split, with the most recent exception being 2008, when then Senator Obama pulled off the impressive feat of snagging the solid red state of Nebraska’s electors.
According to Talking Points Memo, if this same system were in place in other “blue states” with GOP leadership in the statehouse “Romney would have been elected president even though he received close to 5 million fewer votes than Obama.”
Obama won the general election with 51.1 percent of the vote to Romney’s 47.2.