Virginia Senate committee kills presidential gerrymandering bill
A Virginia Senate committee voted Tuesday to permanently kill a bill that would have aligned the state’s electoral votes with its House districts, a move critics say would have swung the 2012 presidential election for the Republican candidate despite President Barack Obama’s overwhelming victory in the popular vote.
The Virginia Senate’s Privileges and Elections Committee voted 11-4 to kill the bill, with four Republicans joining seven Democrats in opposition.
Sponsor Sen. Charles Carrico (R) had offered to amend the bill in such a way that would cause electoral votes to be distributed proportionally in accordance with the state’s popular vote, but it was not enough to keep the bill afloat.
Similar bills are being considered in other swing states like Wisconsin and Pennsylvania following an endorsement of the strategy by Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus.
“I think it’s something that a lot of states that have been consistently blue that are fully controlled red ought to be looking at,” he told a reporter earlier in January.
Even so, three other states that initially took the idea seriously — Florida, Ohio and Michigan — have all dropped their plans to change the rules of their presidential elections.