Crossposted from Democratic Convention Watch:
Yesterday, Barack Obama was publicly sworn in as president for his second term. If some Pennsylvania state legislators had passed current legislation making its way through the state process last year, that wouldn’t have happened, and Mittens could be in the White House. (There are similar bills in other states.)
Here is the text of Assembly Bill 94:
Amending the act of June 3, 1937 (P.L.1333, No.320), entitled “An act concerning elections, including general, municipal, special and primary elections, the nomination of candidates, primary and election expenses and election contests; creating and defining membership of county boards of elections; imposing duties upon the Secretary of the Commonwealth, courts, county boards of elections, county commissioners; imposing penalties for violation of the act, and codifying, revising and consolidating the laws relating thereto; and repealing certain acts and parts of acts relating to elections,” in electoral college, further providing for election of presidential electors.
The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania hereby enacts as follows:
Section 1. Section 1501 of the act of June 3, 1937(P.L.1333, No.320), known as the Pennsylvania Election Code, is amended to read:
Section 1501. Election of Presidential Electors.–
(a) At the general election to be held in the year 1940, and every fourth year thereafter, there shall be elected by the qualified electors of the Commonwealth, persons to be known as electors of President and Vice-President of the United States, and referred to in this act as presidential electors, equal in number to the whole number of senators and representatives to which this State may be entitled in the Congress of the United States.
(b) (1) Two of the presidential electors shall be elected at large to represent the entire Commonwealth and shall cast their ballots for the presidential and vice-presidential candidates with the greatest number of votes Statewide.
(2) Each of the remaining presidential electors shall be elected in the presidential elector’s congressional district and shall cast a ballot for the presidential and vice-presidential candidates with the greatest number of votes in the congressional district.
Section 2. This act shall take effect in 60 days.
Note the emphasis (mine). While Obama won the state, he won only 7 Congressional Districts. Here’s how it would have worked: I voted for Barack Obama, but because my CD did not, my vote would have gone to Mitt Romney. Possibly yours too.
This is a Republican way to steal elections going forward. There is no other way to interpret it. The Constitution allows for states to set up their own election law, but had the intent of allowing presidential and vice-presidential votes to be counted statewide. This is a complete perversion of the process. It’s also outrageous and appalling, but when dealing with Republicans, what else is new…
This needs to be stopped. And there are things YOU can do TODAY, as it’s still a bill, hasn’t passed the Assembly and hasn’t yet gone to the State Senate.
Call your state assemblyman and state Senator. If you don’t know who they are, you can find out here. When you put in your address, it will show you your legislators. Click on each name for contact information.
AFTER you call, follow-up with an email or a letter. It is important that you call first: that’s how they keep track moreso than emails. Then, send a copy of this article to everyone you know who lives in Pennsylvania and ask them to call their reps and forward the article to everyone they know.
When you call, give your name and address, and cite your opposition to Assembly Bill 94. You can say that your vote is sacred, and you don’t want it given to a different candidate. You can say that elections should be fair. You can point out that you’ll be watching how your rep votes, and will remember in the next election.
Many people only vote in presidential years, and don’t keep a close track on things at other times. Make sure that these political non-combatants know that in 4 years, their vote may be hijacked. If we all work together, we can surely fight this before it takes hold.