Electoral College Rigging Threat Rapidly Diminishing

The electoral vote rigging initiatives that were kicking around just last week in battleground states carried by Barack Obama in 2012 but controlled by Republicans at the state level seem to be running into heavy weather. As noted in today’s Lunch Buffet, a district apportionment scheme in Virginia died in a state Senate committee after Gov. Bob McDonnell and key Republican legislators rained on the parade. In Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder has trashed a similar proposal. State House Speaker Will Weatherford seems to have killed a rigging bill in Florida. In Ohio, Republicans including Gov. John Kasich have disclaimed any interest in an electoral vote coup.

So as Politico‘s Emily Schultheis notes, that just leaves just two states as possible sites for such shenanigans:

The only remaining states are Pennsylvania, where an electoral vote change was unsuccessful in 2011, and Wisconsin, where Gov. Scott Walker has expressed hesitance about any changes to the system.

“I just said I hadn’t ruled it out. I’m not embracing it because it’s a double-edged sword,” Walker said in a recent interview with POLITICO. “What may look appealing right now depending on who your candidate was might, four or eight years from now, look like just the reverse. And the most important thing to me long term as a governor is what makes your voters be in play. One of our advantages as a swing state is that candidates come here … that’s good for voters. If we change that that would take that away and would largely make us irrelevant.”

I noted last week that the whole gambit depended for its success on speed and stealth. With both those factors now gone, we probably won’t have to worry about it for a while. If you made some noise about this, congratulate yourself.

Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.