Sent to The Los Angeles Times today, in response to an article that inaccurately refers to Republican proposals for several state’s allocation of electoral votes as “proportional systems”:
The LA Times refers today (Jan. 27) to Republican proposals in several states to replace statewide winner-take-all allocation of presidential electors with “a proportional system”.
These proposals are NOT proportional; they are still winner-take-all, but in each congressional district. As noted elsewhere in the article, had a district plan been in effect in 2012 Mitt Romney might have won 9 of Virginia’s 13 electors.
This means Barack Obama, who won 51.2% of the statewide vote, would have had barely 30% of the electors! This does not meet any standard of proportionality.
Even the House of Representatives, which is obviously allocated based on congressional districts, is not proportional: Democrats won the most House votes in 2012, but Republicans won a majority of seats.
Proportional representation is used by most of the world’s democracies. It produces allocations of political power that mirror how people actually vote. By contrast, the Republicans are proposing a house of mirrors to distort the vote for partisan advantage.