Bill to change Electoral College system in PA introduced

A top legislative Republican has resurrected his plan to change the way Pennsylvania's Electoral College votes are allotted.

Senate Majority leader Dominic Pileggi (R., Delaware) has introduced a bill that would scrap the state's winner-take-all method and replace it with a system based on the percentage of votes a candidate draws statewide.

The bill, which has 12 cosponsors, all of them Republicans, differs slightly from Pileggi's legislation from last year that would have divided votes according to the winners in the 18 congressional districts.

The new proposal apportion 18 of the 20 votes based on the percentage of votes the candidates draw in the statewide popular vote. The other two votes would go to the overall winner.

Under Pileggi's formula, Obama, who carried Pennsylvania on Nov. 6 with 52 percent to Romney's 47, would have received 12 electoral votes to Romney's eight.

The plan has been widely criticized by Democrats - including state party leader Jim Burn here on the Chris Matthews' show, Hardball - as a form of vote rigging to favor Republican candidates because it would weaken the influence of urban, read Democratic, votes.

Last year's proposal also met opposition from GOP members of the Pennsylvania congressional delegation. Neither Corbett nor the delegation has weighed in this time.

Pileggi spokesman Erik Arneson said the proportional approach would be a first among states. Among the 50 states only two, Maine and Nebraska, use the congressional district model. But GOP leaders in Michigan announced over the weekend it is considering a similar proposal.

Arneson said the bill is not on the fast track. "We think it’s worthy of discussion and debate, but this is not a priority."

More on the proposal from our colleague Tom Fitzgerald here.

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