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The GOP scheme to rig the electoral vote loses momentum

January 25, 2013, at 1:05 PM

Republican legislators in several states have begun to push changes to the way their states allocate electoral college votes. 

These states — which include Florida, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Virginia — have one thing in common: They all voted for President Obama in last year's presidential election but are controlled by Republican governors and legislators.

Molly Ball reports that these efforts "appear to have sprouted independently as the work of individual lawmakers." But now, a Republican operative "has a plan to take the idea national."

GOP strategist Jordan Gehrke has teamed up with former Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell (R) to "raise money for an effort to propose similar electoral reforms in states across the country."

The Washington Post notes Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus even voiced support for the effort, saying it is something that "a lot of states that have been consistently blue that are fully controlled red ought to be looking at."

But while support for the move seems to be growing nationally, several Republican lawmakers in key states are balking at the idea.

In Virginia, Sen. Ralph Smith (R) told the Roanoke Times he opposed efforts to change the way Virginia allocates electoral votes, calling it "a bad idea." The bill likely cannot get to a vote without Smith's support.

And in Florida, House Speaker Will Weatherford (R) told the Miami Herald, "To me, that's like saying in a football game, 'We should have only three quarters, because we were winning after three quarters and the beat us in the fourth. I don't think we need to change the rules of the game, I think we need to get better." Without Weatherford's support, the proposal is essentially dead there as well.

It remains to be seen what will happen in Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Ohio, but it's clear not all Republicans are sold on the idea.

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