Virginia governor opposes plan to rig electoral college

Updated
Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell talks with the media after a meeting of the Governor's Advisory Council on Revenue Estimates at the Patrick Henry Building in...
Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell talks with the media after a meeting of the Governor's Advisory Council on Revenue Estimates at the Patrick Henry Building in...
Bob Brown/AP Photo/Richmond Times-Dispatch

It looks like the plan to rig Virginia’s Electoral College votes in the GOP’s favor is too radical even for the state’s conservative Republican governor.

Gov. Bob McDonnell opposes the plan, a spokesman told The Atlantic’s Molly Ball Friday afternoon. “He believes Virginia’s existing system works just fine as it is,” said the unnamed spox.

McDonnell’s opposition ensures that the effort has no chance of success.

The bill, which would allocate Virginia’s electoral votes based on the winner of each congressional district, passed a state Senate subcommittee Wednesday. Had it been in force last fall, Mitt Romney would have won 9 of the state’s 13 electoral votes, despite losing the popular vote by five points.

Earlier Friday, msnbc.com reported that, according to voting-rights experts, the shift may well violate Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, which prohibits certain states, including Virginia, from changing their voting rules in a way that hurts minorities.

McDonnell, who joins two Republican state senators in coming out against the effort, is no moderate. Last year he backed a plan to force women to undergo an invasive vaginal ultrasound before having an abortion, then backed off after an uproar. Even then, he signed a bill that required an ultrasound of some kind before an abortion.

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Virginia governor opposes plan to rig electoral college

Updated