Senate leader again pushes for change in how Pa. awards electoral votes

    It’s take two for a state Senate plan to rework how Pennsylvania awards its electoral votes.


    The Senate Majority Leader has long believed the presidential candidate who wins the commonwealth’s popular vote should not get all 20 of the state’s electoral votes.

    Last fall, Sen. Dominic Pileggi, R-Delaware, offered a plan to award the electoral votes based on which candidate wins each congressional district.

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    But members of Pennsylvania’s congressional delegation, mostly made up of Republicans, said such a move would bring more outside spending and presidential campaign muscle in their districts, making their own re-elections tougher.

    Other general concerns got more consideration, according to Pileggi’s spokesman Erik Arneson.

    Those concerns came “from people on both sides of the aisle about whether it was fair to tie presidential electors so closely to congressional districts, which obviously are going to change every 10 years,” he said.

    Another criticism focused on the timing as too close to the presidential election.

    “So in an attempt to eliminate that concern by introducing it now, clearly we couldn’t be farther away from the next presidential election than we are right now,” he said Tuesday.

    Arneson says the hope is that reintroducing the bill now will facilitate a “less emotional” debate on the merits of the proposal.

    Pileggi’s latest plan calls for awarding electoral votes proportionally.

    Had his proposal been in effect during the latest presidential election, President Barack Obama would have received just 12 of Pennsylvania’s 20 electoral votes, to reflect his 52 percent of the popular vote.

    Nebraska and Maine are the only states that don’t use the winner-take-all method for awarding their electoral votes.

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