“This week, in one of its greatest acts of elective chutzpah yet, Republicans in the state of Pennsylvania set forth a plan to split the state's electoral votes for president proportionally by congressional district. This is not illegal, or even unprecedented. Two other states have this system. And some people have been arguing for years that the whole country should abolish the Electoral College altogether in order to avoid such undemocratic messes as the 2000 election. Many of them have settled on the idea of all states simultaneously adopting the system of alloting electoral votes proportionally instead of winner-take-all as a sort of compromise.
But that's not what's happening here.
Suffice to say that the Republican move in Pennsylvania is not motivated by the idea of a more democratic method of electing presidents. Instead, it's a cynical manoeuver to take advantage of redistricting to ensure that a state Obama will likely win will no longer be in play in the 2012 election. Nobody has ever had the nerve to do that before. Indeed, changing something so fundamental to our federal election system for craven short-term gain would have been unthinkable in the past. Not anymore.
As it happens, there has been pushback from Pennsylvania's Republican members of congress, and as a result, the plan is unlikely to pass. It turns out that even though the plan might be helpful to the Republican presidential candidate, it could end up hurting Republican congressional candidates, because Democrats would be able to move resources to challenge them in their districts. But it's notable that the idea that it would be injurious to our democratic system to go about changing the rules to suit the partisan configuration of the moment hasn't been mentioned. This is all self-serving political expediency. Principles have nothing to do with it.
Voter intimidation and vote suppression had long been a part of Democratic politics in the South, in places where African-Americans had been granted an illusory right to vote. But as the South made its dramatic shift to the Republican Party in the wake of the Civil Rights Act, and as African-American voters in the North then shifted to the Democrats, the Republicans began to dominate the process and thus began the decades-long GOP project to suppress the vote. Along the way it has developed into a full-blown operation to undermine democracy in general, at whatever choke points are available.”Much more at:
"In recent years, the Republican Party has accelerated its efforts to make voting more difficult for Americans."