The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Latest News

January 30, 2013

Pa. Senate leader to propose modifying electoral vote tally

HARRISBURG — State Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi, R-Chester, will introduce legislation in February that would change the way the state’s Electoral College votes are awarded, but the senator’s office said the issue does not seem to be a top priority in Pennsylvania, where there are many other looming issues.

The issue comes as Republican lawmakers across the country push for similar changes in the way that the Electoral College votes are awarded.

Obama won the popular vote with 65.9 million votes, or 51.1 percent, to Romney’s 60.9 million and won the Electoral College by a wide margin, 332-206 electoral votes.

If every state awarded its electoral votes by congressional districts, Romney would have won by a 276-262 margin, despite Obama’s popular vote margin, David Wasserman, the nonpartisan Cook Political Report’s House expert, calculated.

A House version of the Electoral College vote allocation legislation would award Electoral College votes using the formula based on the popular vote in each congressional district. Pileggi’s version of the legislation has ditched the congressional district piece and would award the electoral votes simply by awarding them as a percentage of the popular vote.

The difference is significant.

In the last election, if the electoral votes had been directly tied to the congressional district popular vote, Romney would have received more electoral votes in Pennsylvania than Obama, even though the president won the popular vote.

Romney received more votes in 54 of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties and, as a result, in 12 of the 18 congressional districts.

Under Pileggi’s new plan, Obama would have had more electoral votes.

“Senator Pileggi introduced legislation last session that would have used the district model. After hearing from numerous people with concerns about tying the distribution of electors to congressional districts, he decided that it makes sense to completely separate the issue of electoral distribution from the issue of how congressional districts are drawn,” said Erik Arneson, a Pileggi spokesman.

The League of Women Voters was among the organizations that objected to directly connecting the electoral votes to the results in congressional districts.

And the reason is simple, said Lora Lavin of the Pennsylvania League of Women Voters.

“Gerrymandering,” she said. “The results in the congressional districts would not reflect the will of the people.”

In a memo sent to other lawmakers, Pileggi said that under his proportional plan, since Obama won over 52 percent of the popular vote, he would have received 12 electoral votes – 10 of the 18 associated with congressional districts, plus the two statewide votes.

 “This advantage of this system is clear: It much more accurately reflects the will of the voters in our state,” Pileggi said in the memo to other lawmakers.

While the legislation will be introduced shortly, “This is not something that is a top priority for him at the start of this session – rather, he views it as an important idea to discuss as part of the ongoing debate about the Electoral College and whether it should be changed or even eliminated,” Arneson said.

Lavin said the League of Women Voters does not endorse Pileggi’s newest plan, saying the organization would rather see a more nationwide push to replace the Electoral College with results based on the popular vote.

Click here to subscribe to The Tribune-Democrat print edition.

Click here to subscribe to The Tribune-Democrat e-edition.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Latest News
  • Halfway house inmates can ease back into society

    Prison life can be a time warp.
    When inmates are locked away – for months, years, decades – society moves forward: Technology evolves, major events occur, pop culture changes. From a personal perspective, families and friends live their lives: weddings, funerals, graduations, births, retirements. All the while, criminals bide their time, existing in a regimented world of cement walls and metal bars.
    Almost all of them eventually rejoin society, though.

    April 19, 2014

  • Crime board took aim at house

    Johnstown’s unemployment rate is around 8 percent.
    One-third of the city’s population lives in poverty.
    Burglaries and assaults significantly increased between 2010 and 2012. There is a thriving illegal trade in heroin and prescription drugs.
    Given those conditions, it can be challenging for Johnstown Community Corrections Center residents to find jobs when living in the facility or to avoid falling back into a criminal lifestyle upon their release.

    April 19, 2014

  • Homicides linked to center

    Three homicides that took place in Johnstown last year involved either a suspect or victim who previously resided in the Community Corrections Center.
    Police Chief Craig Foust confirmed the name of one victim, who spent almost two months in the facility on Washington Street during 2007, a time period verified by the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections.

    April 19, 2014

  • bachota Volunteers helping to spruce up community

    Walls and ceilings inside the Cambria County Library look clean and bright with fresh new coats of paint on them.
    The work was recently done by inmates from the Johnstown Community Corrections Center.

    April 19, 2014 2 Photos

  • alanna Hartzok targets income disparity

    Alanna Hartzok described herself as being a conservative progressive.
    The Franklin County resident said she is in favor of conserving environmental resources, education opportunities, Social Security and Medicare, while wanting to progressively address wealth inequality, health care and taxation.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Schools rise to leadership challenge

    Forest Hills and Cambria Heights high school students put the spirit of healthy competition toward a good cause and picked up some lessons in leadership along the way.

    April 19, 2014

  • KATEY LADIKA Student’s photos win awards

    A Forest Hills High School junior has captured several awards in a high school arts and writing contest that has identified greats such as Truman Capote and Andy Warhol.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Local briefs 4/20/2014

    April 19, 2014

  • Biggest student loan profits come from grad students

    This week, the Congressional Budget Office projected that the federal government would earn roughly $127 billion from student lending during the next 10 years.

    April 19, 2014

  • Smartphone kill switches are coming

    Smartphones need kill switches. It's a relatively easy solution to the pricey (and irritating) problem of smartphone theft. But who would have thought that the big carriers would team up with Apple, Google, Microsoft, Nokia, Samsung and lots of other manufacturers to voluntarily begin adding the technology by July 2015? The cooperative spirit! It makes so much sense!

    April 19, 2014

Poll

Would you like to see the Johnstown Community Corrections Center remain open after its lease runs out on Oct. 11, 2015?

Yes
No
I'm not sure
     View Results
Order Photos


Photo Slideshow

House Ads