Virginia panel kills plan to redistribute electoral votes


As expected, legislation to change how Virginia distributes its 13 electoral votes in presidential elections was defeated in a Senate committee Tuesday, despite its sponsor’s effort to make it more palatable.

The initial proposal from Sen. Charles W. “Bill” Carrico would have moved the commonwealth away from its current winner-take-all system of awarding electoral votes based on the overall popular vote.

His SB 723 called for Virginia to instead proportionately designate electoral votes by vote total in the state’s 11 congressional districts, with the last two electoral votes going to the candidate who carried the most districts.

Had that system been in place last year, President Barack Obama would have received four electoral votes, and Republican nominee Mitt Romney would have earned nine, even though Obama won the state by almost 150,000 votes.

Speaking about the bill, Carrico said he filed it on behalf of his rural Southwest Virginia constituents who feel slighted in presidential elections because their votes are outnumbered by big city dwellers and they get overlooked by candidates.

He insisted it is not an attempt “to gerrymander an election,” as some critics insinuated.

Aware his bill was in jeopardy, Carrico offered a revision to the Senate Privileges and Elections Committee that would have proportionately divided electoral votes based on candidates’ popular vote share.

The amended version was still defeated on a bi-partisan vote of 11-4, with Sen. Jeff McWaters of Virginia Beach among the Republicans who voted to table the bill.

Before the vote, Democrats such as Sen. John Edwards of Roanoke said more review and public hearings would be appropriate before pursuing such a “radical change.”

Edwards also argued the state now benefits from candidate attention in presidential years because it is a battleground state.

“If we want Virginia to be competitive in terms of candidates coming here, the winner-take-all system is by far the best,” he added.

Also opposing the bill was Sen. Ralph Smith, R-Bedford County.

While Smith sees a proportional electoral vote system as more equitable, he’s reluctant to make that kind of change in Virginia when most other states remain winner-take-all.

Until there’s widespread change, he said, that kind of distribution system would end up “skewing the playing field.”

At present, only Maine and Nebraska proportionately award their electoral votes.

Posted to: Elections News Politics Presidential Election State Government Virginia

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Smart . . . on a lot of

Smart . . . on a lot of levels.

Voters win another!

Yes! the Voters score another win. The GOP is trying very hard to suppress and weaken the majority of Voters. The voter ID bill was at least watered down and the Senate does the right thing on this bill. Please everyone realize the danger our democracy faces from certain minority elements in the GOP. Some GOP members are starting to realize that their party has been taken over by a subversive minority. I hope the moderate Republicans (Bolling, Cristy, J. Bush) can take back the GOP from the radical right

Republicans hate the voters

Maybe they should try to stop oppressing women, blacks, gays, Hispanics, and everyone else, and they might win an election or two.

Chris - Again with the usual dribble

There is plenty of oppression in both parties by your definition of the word. Your use of the words "they" and "everyone" belies an agenda that anything you disagree with is evil or oppressive.

I don't agree with everything that either party does. My ability to focus rather than generalize allows me to vote for members of both parties. I'm not always right. My candidates don't always win. But, I feel as good about my votes for Douglas Wilder and Mark Warner, as I do for Republicans or Independents.

The issues displayed by your posts is a lack of open-mindedness, and thus, clear thought. They're as oppressive to ideas and leadership as those you disparage.

It's a flaw of imagination (on both sides) that keeps people divided.

and Chris......

(tapping toes).....really? a freakin coin tose with you and panther!

Picturing Obama saying: "If I had a son, he would be just like Panther or Chris"

Now to you two, that would preceived as a honor, right? So, in realville, you should thank me for this complement..... BUT, we all know your Saul Alinski tactics so let's see how you respond. (lighting the fuse and running)


You can look at this as at least a few sobered up. As sad and pitiful as the republicants are, they are not out of the game,if they simply listen to the republicants that actually win elections they will be back in the game.This means they must wean themselves from the idiocy of their talking and book pedaling weasels(Beck,Rush,Hannity,Coulter etc.). I know this will be hard but these and their ilk have found a way to profit from the stupidity of their lemming-like followers. Even Faux News jettisoned the babbling idiot from Alaska so there may be some hope.

This isn't the end, the

This isn't the end, the Republicans never stop thinking of new evil ways to concoct schemes to rig and steal elections, and suppress voter turnout. We must always be on the lookout.


I pointed this out in my earlier post on the subject (conveniently ignored by yourself and others with anti-Republican Party views) - This bill is a reintroduction of a bill that 2 Democratic HoD members introduced between 2000-2004.

I'm just guessing that you weren't posting that it was an idiotic and evil plan to ruin democracy and take away minority votes. I'm thinking you felt it was justified because a Republican was elected in those cases.

I don't have a problem with simple proportional award of Electors. If a Democratic candidate wins 60% of the vote they get 60% of the Electors (rounded up over .5).

I feel winner take all allows a small majority (of either party) disproportional representation of the voters.


Funny... You know, there is always that one jester in the class room... Awwe, damn.. I take that back.. I might be called a bully. Oh, man, I am so sorry...

No need to apologize, but

No need to apologize, but I'll will remember your comment. Count on it!! :-)

Glad it died, but...

in all fairness, both the Carrico plan AND winner-takes-all are distortions of representative democracy. The Carrico plan is wrong because of the grotesque gerrymandering of the Congressional districts that would effectively have overturned the will of the majority of voters in the recent election, but the winner-takes-all policy effectively negates the votes of the 47.28% who voted for Romney/Ryan. The only real solution is to amend the Constitution to abandon the ridiculously obsolete Electoral College altogether and institute direct election of the president and vice-president.

And as for the evils of gerrymandering

which has largely destroyed fair representation in both state and federal legislatures, there is a good solution. See it at:

Also, it's something of a shock to read about how modern science and technology are employed in going about cleverly fashioning gerrymandered districts:

wrong defect

Gerrymandering is a political rant of the party not in power. Both parties take full advantage of moving districts as pawns. Elections have consequences and local and state winners have been GOP in recent times. Democrats focused on winning the presidency and essentially missed at the state level.

The defect is not "gerrymandering" since each district will have about 700,000 constituents. It is MOTIVATION of those that is the problem with "winner take all" when a few precincts effectively outnumber.
I have no clue why rural voters don't vote as well as urban or high density areas. The districts have about the same number of voters!

Decreasing the number of constituents and raising the House number would help eliminate "gerrymandering".

I beg to differ

Gerrymandering is done by the party IN power of the legislature that by law designs the district maps. Using the nefarious techniques of "packing, cracking, and stacking," the object is to minimize the number of districts that are not of the party in power. The shameful result is that more and more, elections are easily won by the incumbent, too often because the district is so lopsided there's no reason to oppose the incumbent. Take a look at a map of Bobby Scott's "stacked" 3d District. It's absolutely unbelievable. I recommend for your reading the URLs I posted elsewhere in this forum tonight.

My bad...

I should have said "bobby Scott's "packed" 3d District.

elections do have consequences - some good, some bad

The founding fathers understood apportionment by population dividing the state into congressional districts. Congress stopped growing around 1920 at 435 House members, even after states were added after then. The countries population kept growing and now a district has about 700,000 people in them.

Algorithims, throwing darts at a map, getting "non-partisan" (there is NO such thing) commissions, or getting a bunch of pre-K to color a map results in one thing - getting the state divided up into the apportioned number of House representatives EVENLY.
Then you throw in getting ill-formed minority majority districts that don't fit algorithims.

Elections do matter which is why winning states on the decade give "power" as the reward.

Repubublicans have mastered

Repubublicans have mastered the art of packing as many as possible Democratic voters into as small as space while spreading Republicans as wide as possible. How else can Obama and Kaine win the state by comfortable margins but Republicans control 8 of 11 seats. The same in Florida, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Michigan.

do you realize you make no mathematical sense

BTW - I am a conservative. I am not a loyal soldier for any party. It is the ideas and ideals of conservatism that I am loyal.
As most Democrats are not liberals, not all Republicans are conservative.

EACH! congressional districts has about 700,000 people in the 435 districts of the House. The US Constitution started apportionment at 30,000 and Congress kept raising the number in the House as the country grew up until about 1920 when the population kept growing but the House was stuck on 435.
Districts are drawn mainly by getting 700,000 AND by voting trends, and some to have a minority majority.
The accumulation of Democrats in people dense area only makes getting to 700,000 easier.

Get more voter PARTICIPATION and your point is moot.

Ok, obviously gerrymandering

Ok, obviously gerrymandering is a process you refuse to acknowledge. Either you endorse it or are in just plain denial. But this constant "700,000" nonsense is getting old. These congressional maps have been drawn by Republicans to maximize their numbers. But it wont last forever. They're losing demographically. The country is becoming more and more nonwhite. And the Republicans hate it.

Panther...now the agenda is clear...It's a non-white thing....

The US is the most ethnically accepting society in the world (and never perfect). Republicans don't hate anybody (since we're generalizing here). Stop generalizing, it's beneath educated people having a discussion.

Gerrymandering exists and it benefits the party in power the year of the census. It is constantly challenged in the courts. People live where they live and Electors ARE apportioned by population (so the 700,000 part is valid despite your denial).

It's amazing to look at a map and see the high "blue" concentrations versus the geographically large, but population challenged, "red" areas.

If elections were based on geography you'd be correct. But they aren't, and as the last two elections confirmed, your claim isn't valid.

It's valid, it it wasn't

It's valid, it it wasn't then why are Republicans trying to change the rules we have always used up until Obama started winning? It's valid....sigh.

150,000 votes is not a slam

150,000 votes is not a slam dunk,
And dems gerrymandered for 80 years.
They were completely power drunk.
You are shedding crocodile tears.

Mr. "portworker"

Until you demonstrate a better understanding of the mechanics of how the Senate selects its majority and minority leaders, how gerrymandering alters congressional district party representation in a way that favors the party in power, and other things, I think there is nothing to be gained by engaging you in discussion.

BTW, why don't you use your real name here? Why do you need to be anonymous?

Comment deleted

Comment removed for rules violation. Reason: Post continued, repeated

is it narrow mindness or blind partisanship that detract

The Majority Leader of the US Senate is from a low populated state (six electoral college representatives). Why is he allowed to have a representation as "leader" when the states like CA, FL, TX, NY that people have chosen to live in have many more votes they lost by than Senator Reid won.
Doing away with the electoral college is the same thing - tyranny of the majority.

Maybe those state senators will allow their majority leader to be the one with the most popular votes.

District representation would have brought MORE voters voting because then the voters (700,000 constituents in EACH of the 435 districts) would not be discouraged by the few precincts that decided elections.

Too bad liberals and narrow minded GOP were afraid of voters..

Recent Republican senate

Recent Republican senate leaders, Mitch Mcconnell (Kentucky), Bill Frist (Tennessee), Trent Lott (Mississippi), Bob Dole (Kansas). Do you see a trend here? And you want to talk about populated states, lol.

Did that make any sense? NO!!

What does listing former GOP Majority Leaders for the US Senate do for explaining why a low populated state is the Majority Leader?
Are any of those you tried to distract with from high populated states?

So, please explain or make sense of your post in relation to why the US Senate allows low populated states to be majority leader instead of those US senators from states like CA, FL, TX, or NY where people have chosen to live.

Make sense of your post.

I can't believe it, a

I can't believe it, a "conservative" complaining about fairness in voting.

panel killed it because

McDonnell was afraid his transportation bill would not be approved because of the deomcrats.

BTW it wouldn't have because the democrats would not vote for it and rightly so. Sometimes 20-20 votes is a good thing.

If the shoe were on the

If the shoe were on the foot,
Dems would have given 'em the boot.
Recall their slimy, partisan HC bill;
They FORCED it against the nation's will.

Don't like the winner-take-all system

So if Va Beach votes for candidate 'A' and
Bluefield votes for candidate 'B,' candidate
'A' gets all the electoral votes because more
people at the beach voted for him. Sounds like
a political rip-off, and not a fair system of voting.


in the 2012 elections Virginia was not operating on a basis of electoral-votes-by-district (the failed Carrico plan). Candidate "A" won because a most Virginia voters all over the state voted for him and gave him a majority of the total votes cast. Do you hold that winning that way is "unfair"?


It's always been used - everywhere and by all parties. So let's just drop it. The reason for using it has always been the same. So it has died in Va. Good ridance.

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