Senator Wants to Make Changes to Electoral Vote

By: Estephany Escobar Email
By: Estephany Escobar Email

In Virginia, the winner of the popular vote takes all 13 electoral votes in presidential elections.

20th district Republican Delegate Dickie Bell doesn't mind the winner takes all system.

"I think it's OK. I think it might not be the best system but there's nothing about our system that's perfect," Bell said.

However, he said he's open to hearing the plan to change it.

"I think it has some merit. I don't think it has enough horsepower by that I mean can we get it done. I'm not certain that we can," Bell said.

Republican Senator Bill Carrico's bill would give the winner one electoral vote for each of the state's 11 congressional districts depending on who wins it.

The candidate who wins the state would also get two at-large electoral votes.

Maine and Nebraska are the only states that gives electoral votes this way.

25th district Republican Delegate Steve Landes said he needs to learn more about it.

" It sounds like an interesting proposal. It would be good to see what Nebraska and Maine experience has been and what kind of difference it's made," Landes said.

Political Science Professor Bob Roberts said those states are too small to make a difference.

Would have it made a difference in 2012 elections?

In the past election, President Barack Obama won all the electoral votes in the state.

Under the proposal, he would have only gotten six.

He won four districts, which would mean four electoral votes.

He would have gotten two more because he won the entire state.

With the proposal, Mitt Romney would have gotten seven electoral votes.

Political science professor Bob Roberts said congressional districts already make elections unfair.

"If you compounded the program by electing electors based on apparently unfair congressional districts. It makes it worse," Roberts said.

For this measure to pass, there would have to be a constitutional amendment.

This means going to the House of Delegates, then the Senate, then the General Assembly.

24th District Republican Delegate Ben Cline said he would consider voting for the measure to pass if it passed the house of delegates.

"I think voters should have their votes counted at the end of the day, they do under the current system. In a winner takes all system, their votes are still counted. But i think it's an idea that needs further debate

Taxpayers would be the last ones to decide.

Roberts said he doesn't think it would pass the Senate or it could be done before the next presidential election.

That's something Landes is also unsure about.

"It's not gonna make it over night even if it were to pass in this session," Landes said.

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