The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

January 25, 2013

Who will count the votes

Daily Item

---- — After clearly losing the 2012 presidential election, the Republican Party should be examining why the public overwhelmingly rejected their candidate and adjusting their extremist policies to appeal to more American voters.

Instead, after their unsuccessful attempt to suppress Democratic voters through strict voter ID laws, they are now preparing to make further efforts to rig future elections.

In the late 1920s, Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin said, "I consider it completely unimportant who in the party will vote, or how. But what is extremely important is this -- who will count the votes, and how."

It appears the Republican Party is going to use Stalin's method of subverting democracy to ensure no Democrat can ever again win the White House. They plan to do this by changing the way electoral votes are counted.

The method is simple: instead of the current winner-take-all system (used in all states except Maine and Nebraska), electoral votes would be doled out based on who won each Congressional district, plus two votes going to the popular vote winner.

Through redistricting after the 2010 census, Republicans have gerrymandered enough election districts to maintain control of the House of Representatives for the next 10 years. And if they can enact these electoral vote changes, they can guarantee that no Democrat can win a presidential election at least until after the 2020 Census.

Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania, where Republicans control the state legislatures but which have supported the Democratic presidential candidate in the past several elections, are the first targets. (Rep. Robert Godshall has already introduced such legislation in Harrisburg.) Other targeted states are Florida, Ohio and Virginia.

Had these reforms been in place in 2012, Mitt Romney would have been elected president in spite of losing the popular vote by 4 percent.

This scheme to enable one-party control of the White House has support from the likes of Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, Ohio Secretary of State John Husted, and many other prominent Republicans including Republican National Committee chair Reince Preibus.

Any political party that truly believes in democracy should reflect the will of the people would never embrace an election-rigging scheme like this. But since the Republicans are not willing to moderate their policies and stop pandering to the billionaires and right-wing zealots who now control the party, this is their only alternative.

David B. Kyle,

New Columbia