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OpEdNews Op Eds    H1'ed 1/26/13

Three Strategies to Block the Gerrymandering of the Electoral College

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Cross-posted from The Nation


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Reince Priebus speaks at the 2011 Republican Leadership Conference. (Flickr/Gage Skidmore)

As Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus promotes one of the most blatant assaults on democracy in modern times -- a scheme to gerrymander the Electoral College so that the loser of the popular vote could win key states and the presidency -- the number-one question from frustrated citizens is: What can we do about it?

After so many assaults on voting rights and the electoral process itself have been advanced, it is easy to imagine that Priebus, Karl Rove and their team could get away even with so audacious an initiative as the rigging of presidential elections.

Priebus is counting on precisely that cynicism, as well as the neglect of the story by major media, to enable the plan to have Republican legislatures and governors in key swing states -- Florida, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin -- arrange for the distribution of electoral votes not to winners of the popular vote statewide but to the winners of individual congressional districts. Because of the gerrymandering of congressional district lines, the scheme would in 2012 have shifted the circumstance so that, in Pennsylvania for instance, the losing candidate, Republican Mitt Romney, would have won the overwhelming majority of the state's electoral votes.

Under at least one scenario entertained by Priebus and his minions, Romney's 5 million -- vote loss of the popular vote nationally still would not have prevented him from assuming the presidency.

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John Nichols, a pioneering political blogger, has written the Online Beat since 1999. His posts have been circulated internationally, quoted in numerous books and mentioned in debates on the floor of Congress.

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