Center for American Progress Action

RELEASE: The Republican Plan to Rig the Electoral College
Press Release

RELEASE: The Republican Plan to Rig the Electoral College

Washington, D.C. — Yesterday a Virginia state senate subcommittee allowed a Republican plan to move forward that would rig future presidential elections and strip voters of their power at the polls. And this plan is not limited to just Virginia. In “Grand Theft Election, author Ian Millhiser explains how a Republican Plan to manipulate the Electoral College would change current law in several blue states in order to turn them red while leaving red states untouched. The plan, which has garnered support from leading Republicans and was recently endorsed by Republican National Committee Chair Reince Priebus, represents the latest in a series of efforts by Republicans to disenfranchise voters.

Under the current system most states allocate all of their electoral votes to the winner of the state as a whole. But the plan Republicans have put forth would force blue states such as Pennsylvania and Michigan to give away half or more of their electoral votes to the Republican ticket while states like Texas and South Carolina that favor Republicans would continue to deliver every single one of their electoral votes to the Republican presidential candidate.

Beyond unfairly applying a different set of rules to blue states and red states, the plan also takes advantage of profoundly gerrymandered congressional maps in order to stack the deck even more for Republican presidential candidates. The Republican Plan would reallocate electoral votes in key blue states so that instead of going to the winner of a state as a whole, just two electoral votes would go to the overall winner while the rest would be decided based on the results of individual congressional districts.  Thus, while President Barack Obama won states like Florida, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Wisconsin—in some cases by comfortable margins—future Democratic presidential candidates would struggle in these traditionally battleground states  where gerrymandered congressional maps lead Republicans to dominate the state’s congressional delegations. Notably, all six of these states are currently controlled by Republican governors and legislatures, meaning that all six of them could implement the Republican election-rigging plan before the 2016 election and effectively disenfranchise voters for years to come.

“When voters gave Republicans temporary control of several state legislatures in 2010, they did not sign away their right to elect different leaders in future elections,” said Millhiser. “If the Republican Party can’t win elections fair and square, then their backup plan appears to be nothing more than cheating.”

Read “Grand Theft Election: How Republicans Plan to Rig the Electoral College and Steal the White House.”

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To speak with CAP Action experts on this issue, please contact Madeline Meth at or 202.741.6277.