OLYMPIA — Changing the way the state casts its Electoral College votes for president would be fairer to Eastern Washington voters, a
It’s a way Republicans could win the White House through gerrymandered districts without a majority of the popular vote, said the Democratic chairman of the House committee considering the proposal.
Rep. Matt Shea,
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House Bill 1091 is patterned after a system used in
“A lot of voters in
Committee Chairman Sam Hunt, D-Olympia, asked Shea who would have be president right now if all the states had such a system in 2012.
“I don't know,” Shea replied. “I’d have to do the math.”
“It would not be Barack Obama,” Hunt said.
Obama received 332 Electoral College votes to Mitt Romney's 206 under the current system. Based on a district analysis of the national vote by the Huffington Post, Romney would have gained enough Electoral votes under the system to win 273 to 262, even though Obama won the popular vote nationwide.
Trent England of the Freedom Foundation said the change would force the presidential campaigns and political parties to change their campaign strategy. Instead of focusing on swing states, they'd focus on the most moderate, politically divided congressional districts. That could change the outcome of the national popular vote, he said.
Republican legislators in
“This comes from the Republican National Committee,” Hunt said after the hearing. “They see a way to take some of their solidly Republican congressional districts and turn them into Electoral College votes.”
Hunt said he didn't think HB 1091 would get out of committee and onto the House floor for a vote.