The first part of the strategy has been unfolding for months. Since the 2010 elections brought Republicans to power in numerous swing states, officials in many of those states have made it harder for minority, poor and young voters to cast their ballots. GOP governments have been curtailing early voting (in Ohio and Florida) and requiring voters to produce official photo-identification cards (in Wisconsin). In South Carolina, the poll tax lives again: Voters who want an official photo-ID card must present a passport or a birth certificate, neither of which can be obtained for free.
Recently a new ploy has emerged, focused on the electoral college. In Pennsylvania, Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi (R) has proposed changing the way the state’s electoral votes are tallied in presidential elections. (A state’s electoral votes reflect the number of its U.S. congressional districts, plus two more for its Senate seats.) Instead of having all of Pennsylvania’s electoral votes go to the candidate who carries the state’s popular vote, as is the long-standing practice in Pennsylvania and 47 other states, Pileggi wants to apportion those votes by congressional district. (more…)