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Plan to rejigger electoral votes back

Published by Laura Olson on .

It's back, though in a slightly amended form.

Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi's plan to allocate electoral votes by congressional district faltered after the effort was announced last year, but he says he'll be reintroducing a similar proposal in the upcoming legislative session.

According to a co-sponsorship memo posted online, Pileggi will be altering his plan to instead award Pennsylvania's 20 electoral votes (mostly) based on the state's popular vote.

The two votes representing the statewide U.S. senators would still go to the statewide winner as under the current "winner takes all" arrangement. But the remaining 18 votes will be awarded in proportion to the candidates' vote percentages.

Under that system, Democrat Barack Obama would have received 12 votes to Republican Mitt Romney's eight, according to the memo.

Currently, only Nebraska and Maine have an option for dividing their votes.

(In other news, the state Senate and soon state House of Representatives will be posting co-sponsorship memos in real-time, as they are being sent out to fellow lawmakers in hopes that they too will support a proposed bill. The Senate memos can be found here.)

Full text of Pileggi's cosponsorship memo is after the jump:

MEMORANDUM

Posted: December 3, 2012 10:31 AM
From: Senator Dominic Pileggi
To: All Senate members
Subject: Legislation to Distribute Electoral Votes Proportionately

I plan to introduce legislation which would align Pennsylvania's electoral votes for president more closely with the state's popular vote by distributing electoral votes proportionately.
 
The United States Constitution gives each state a number of electors to the Electoral College equal to the combined total of its Senate membership and House of Representatives delegation.  Presidential electors are chosen by the voters.
 
Currently, Pennsylvania uses a winner-take-all system of awarding electoral votes.  My legislation would allocate electoral votes proportionately.
 
Under the proportional system, two of Pennsylvania’s 20 electors are chosen on a statewide, at-large basis (representing the two senatorial electors).  The remaining 18 electors are chosen based on the percentage of the statewide vote earned by each candidate (rounded to the thousandths).  For example, President Obama won 52.088% of the vote in November.  Under this system, he would have received 12 of Pennsylvania’s 20 electors (the two statewide electors plus 10 of the 18 remaining electors, which would be distributed proportionately).
 
This advantage of this system is clear: It much more accurately reflects the will of the voters in our state.
 
This legislation is not the same as Senate Bill 1282 of the 2011-12 legislative session.  That legislation would have allocated electors based on a district system.

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