Constitution Daily: Constitution Check: Is winner-take-all Electoral College voting in trouble?

-By Lyle Denniston

January 29, 2013- Can anyone sue to stop an effort to change how electoral votes are allocated in swing states? Lyle Denniston examines the constitutional arguments about a contentious issue.

The statement at issue:

“We have been documenting…what appears to be a coordinated effort by Republicans in a number of key states to change the rules for electing a president. To change the rules so essentially Democrats running for president cannot win….Virginia Republicans are using the same maps they have gerrymandered for a permanent Republican advantage at the state level to also distribute Virginia’s Electoral College votes when it comes to voting for president….The action in Virginia is the first of its kind in the nation. What we have been covering is Republicans making noises about doing this across the country wherever they can…not just in Virginia, but in Wisconsin and Michigan and Ohio and Pennsylvania.”

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Huffington Post: Roxanne Rubin, Nevada Republican, Accepts Plea Deal After Committing Voter Fraud

-By Luke Johnson

January 28, 2013- A Nevada Republican arrested for voter fraud in the 2012 election, after claiming she was trying to test the system's integrity, pled guilty and accepted a plea deal Thursday, forcing her to pay almost $2,500 and promise to stay out of trouble.

Roxanne Rubin, 56, a casino worker on the Las Vegas Strip, was arrested on Nov. 3, 2012 after trying to vote twice, once at her poling site in Henderson and then at a second site in Las Vegas. The poll workers at the second site said that she had already voted, but Rubin said that she hadn't and insisted on casting a ballot, which the poll workers refused to allow her to do.

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Justice Clarence Thomas; The antithesis of Thurgood Marshall

Blogged by Firebrand Central on January 1, 2013-

On October 15, 1991, Clarence Thomas was confirmed to the U.S. Supreme Court, in a 52-48 vote by the Senate. This was the narrowest margin of confirmation in over a century. Thomas is the second African-American to be appointed to the Supreme Court.

Justice Thomas’s confirmation did not come without controversy; the Senate hearings where Anita Hill accused Clarence Thomas of sexual harassment nearly cost him his seat on the Supreme Court. The sexual harassment claims are likely responsible for the marginal confirmation vote, and there are public figures and officials who regret not speaking out against Thomas to the present day.

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Roanoke Times: GOP Sen. Smith opposes bill to allocate presidential electoral votes by congressional district

– By Michael Sluss

January 25, 2013- If a bill to reapportion Virginia’s presidential electoral votes by congressional district is a Republican plot, someone forgot to tell state Sen. Ralph Smith, R-Bedford County.

Smith said this morning that he opposes the legislation, calling it “a bad idea.” Smith sits on the Senate Privileges and Elections Committee, which will hear the bill next week. Without Smith’s support, it’s unlikely the bill could get to the Senate floor. The Privileges and Elections Committee has eight Republicans and seven Democrats.

“What if all states got to skewing it to their advantage?” Smith said in an interview this morning.

Senate Bill 723 would allocate presidential electoral votes by congressional district rather than statewide popular vote. State Sen. Bill Carrico, R-Grayson County, introduced the measure.

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MSNBC: GOP’s electoral vote scheme likely illegal in Virginia

-By Zachary Roth

January 25, 2013- A scheme under consideration in Virginia to rig the Electoral College in Republicans’ favor could well violate a key provision of the Voting Rights Act, experts on the law say. But that very provision is itself under challenge by the GOP, and could be struck down by the Supreme Court later this year.

A Republican bill that would allocate Virginia’s electoral votes based on the popular vote in each congressional district cleared its first hurdle in the state legislature Wednesday. Had the bill been in effect in the last election, Mitt Romney would have won 9 of Virginia’s 13 electoral votes, despite losing the popular vote in the state to President Obama by nearly 5 percentage points.

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RAW Story: Virginia Republican senators to kill electoral college change

-By Stephen C. Webster

January 25, 2013- A plan to alter the winner-takes-all Electoral College rules in the state of Virginia is on the chopping block after two Republican state senators on a key committee said they would oppose it, according to The Associated Press.

The proposed remake would have changed how electoral votes are tabulated by anchoring them to congressional districts, which are largely drawn to favor incumbents — the majority being Republicans, even though Democrats won the House popular vote in 2012.

Had the bill been passed ahead of last year’s presidential election, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney would have been declared winner in Virginia even though President Barack Obama won the popular vote by hundreds of thousands of actual voters.

FULL STORY HERE:

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