First, change the way electoral votes are tallied. Nebraska and Pennsylvania are headed this way. In Nebraska electoral votes are awarded congressional district-by-district. Obama carried Omaha in 2008, so earned one of Nebraska’s five votes. Nebraska appears headed for a winner-take-all system that would deny Obama that one vote.
Pennsylvania is a bigger deal. Obama carried the state in 2008, and its 21 electoral votes under winner-take-all rules. It is headed for a district-by district award—yes, the system Nebraska is abandoning—under which Obama would have only gotten 11 of Pennsylvania’s 21 votes in 2008.
So we could see a Republican gain of 10 votes in Pennsylvania and one in Nebraska—enough to swing a close election. But Republicans can improve the odds a lot more by making it harder for students, minorities, and low income people to vote at all.
To this end Republican-controlled state legislatures in Florida, Ohio, and Wisconsin are moving to trim early voting days. Early voters are disproportionally Democrat.
If that’s still not enough to insure a Republican victory, legislators in 20 states are considering tighter ID requirements, including requiring a government-issued photo ID. Guess who don’t have photo IDs: lots of students, minorities, and poor people. Who might they vote for? As things are heading we’ll never know because they won’t be allowed to vote.
And in the name of reducing voter fraud, Florida has made the process of registering new voters so cumbersome that even the League of Women Voters decided to end its long-standing service of registering voters.
Tags: congressional districts, early voting, election rules, electoral votes, ethics, Florida, League of Women Voters, minorities, Nebraska, Obama’s reelection, Ohio, Pennsylvania, photo ID, poor people, registering new voters, Republican-controlled state legislatures, students, Tea Party, voter fraud, voter ID requirements, winner-take-all, Wisconsin