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Roanoke Times: GOP Sen. Smith opposes bill to allocate presidential electoral votes by congressional district
– By Michael Sluss
January 25, 2013- If a bill to reapportion Virginia’s presidential electoral votes by congressional district is a Republican plot, someone forgot to tell state Sen. Ralph Smith, R-Bedford County.
Smith said this morning that he opposes the legislation, calling it “a bad idea.” Smith sits on the Senate Privileges and Elections Committee, which will hear the bill next week. Without Smith’s support, it’s unlikely the bill could get to the Senate floor. The Privileges and Elections Committee has eight Republicans and seven Democrats.
“What if all states got to skewing it to their advantage?” Smith said in an interview this morning.
Senate Bill 723 would allocate presidential electoral votes by congressional district rather than statewide popular vote. State Sen. Bill Carrico, R-Grayson County, introduced the measure.
-By Zachary Roth
January 25, 2013- A scheme under consideration in Virginia to rig the Electoral College in Republicans’ favor could well violate a key provision of the Voting Rights Act, experts on the law say. But that very provision is itself under challenge by the GOP, and could be struck down by the Supreme Court later this year.
A Republican bill that would allocate Virginia’s electoral votes based on the popular vote in each congressional district cleared its first hurdle in the state legislature Wednesday. Had the bill been in effect in the last election, Mitt Romney would have won 9 of Virginia’s 13 electoral votes, despite losing the popular vote in the state to President Obama by nearly 5 percentage points.
-By Stephen C. Webster
January 25, 2013- A plan to alter the winner-takes-all Electoral College rules in the state of Virginia is on the chopping block after two Republican state senators on a key committee said they would oppose it, according to The Associated Press.
The proposed remake would have changed how electoral votes are tabulated by anchoring them to congressional districts, which are largely drawn to favor incumbents — the majority being Republicans, even though Democrats won the House popular vote in 2012.
Had the bill been passed ahead of last year’s presidential election, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney would have been declared winner in Virginia even though President Barack Obama won the popular vote by hundreds of thousands of actual voters.
-By Walter Hickey
January 24, 2013- The backlash is growing against a Republican-backed plan to change the way key battleground states allocate electoral votes.
In his Crystal Ball newsletter today, political handicapper Larry Sabato described the plan — which would make it so electoral votes in key swing states were apportioned by congressional districts — as "a truly rotten one" that would "undermine democracy." The plan — which gained traction in the Virginia state legislature this week — would heavily favor Republican presidential candidates.
Press Release of U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer
For Immediate Release:
January 22, 2013
Washington D.C. Office (202) 224-3553
The “LINE Act” Would Set National Standards and Require Action by States Where Voters Waited in Line for Hours
Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA), on the first day of the 113th Congress, reintroduced her election reform bill – the LINE Act – which would help ensure that all American voters can cast a ballot in federal elections without enduring hours-long delays at their polling places.
President Obama signaled his commitment to this important election reform yesterday in his Second Inaugural Address when he said, “Our journey is not complete until no citizen is forced to wait for hours to exercise the right to vote.”
-By Francis McCabe
January 24, 2013- Roxanne Rubin just wanted to test the voting system.
And the system worked.
On Thursday, Rubin's test cost her a $2,481 to reimburse for investigation costs, 100 hours of community service, time at an impulse control class and requires she stay out of trouble.
The Henderson woman took a deal from state prosecutors that will allow her to plead guilty to a misdemeanor charge of attempting to vote twice if she completes the requirements set by Las Vegas Justice of the Peace Deborah Lippis within six months.
Rubin, 56, was accused of felony voter fraud after she tried to vote twice in the November presidential election.
And Secretary of State Ross Miller continued his call for upgrades to the state's voting system that would include a photographic identification system.
"If Ms. Rubin was trying to demonstrate how easy it is to commit voter fraud, she clearly failed and proved just the opposite," Miller said.
-By Scott Powers and David Damron
January 23, 2013- The long Election Day lines around Florida may have turned away more than 200,000 frustrated would-be voters who gave up and went home before they cast ballots — or else saw the lines and elected not to join them.
Analyzing data compiled by the Orlando Sentinel, Ohio State University professor Theodore Allen estimated last week that at least 201,000 voters likely gave up in frustration on Nov. 6, based on research Allen has been doing on voter behavior.
His preliminary conclusion was based on the Sentinel's analysis of voter patterns and precinct-closing times in Florida's 25 largest counties, home to 86 percent of the state's 11.9 million registered voters.
"My gut is telling me that the real number [of voters] deterred is likely higher," Allen said. "You make people wait longer, they are less likely to vote."
-By Wendi Petit
January 23, 2013- One day after the three-year anniversary of the landmark Supreme Court ruling for Citizens United, the fight to overturn it has begun. Two bills were introduced by U.S. Representative Jim McGovern of Massachusetts: one that declares that corporations are not people, and one that says that Congress has the power to regulate the financing of political campaigns.