The plan to rig Virginia’s electoral vote distribution in favor of Republicans was doomed to fail when Gov. Bob McDonnell refused to back it. But the scheme, if implemented, would have disenfranchised Democratic voters by making their votes worth only three-fifths of a Republican vote.
That’s what blogger Paul Bibeau discovered while crunching some numbers this weekend. Taking the 51% of voters in Virginia who cast ballots for President Obama, and factoring in that those votes would have only earned four of the possible 13 electoral votes up for grabs, you learn that the bill would have made each Obama’s votes only worth three-fifths of a Romney vote.
If that number seems familiar, it would be because of the three-fifths compromise. That was the deal reached by Southern and Northern states that decided each slave was worth three-fifths of a person when calculating how many representatives a state would get in Congress. Slaves, of course, never had a right to cast their own ballots, so it simply gave white male voters more power in slave owning states.
Although he may never have crunched the numbers, reducing the power of Democratic or “urban” voters was exactly what the sponsor of this plan always wanted to do when he proposed this plan late last year.
“I think if you want to continue to get people to be involved and turn out to vote for their candidate in the more rural areas, you’re going to have to even the playing field in order to have involvement,” Carrico said when he first introduced the bill.
Although the plan is essentially dead in Virginia, other states are still considering similar plans. Just this weekend Wisconsin’s Republican Governor Scott Walker said the plan is “worth looking at” and that he’s still open to implementing it. The plan would have helped Romney earn half the state’s electoral votes, despite losing the popular vote by 7%.