After each presidential election, Wisconsin currently awards all ten of its Electoral College votes to the candidate who wins the statewide popular vote. A state lawmaker says he wants to move away from that “winner takes all” system.
State Representative Dan LeMahieu (R-Oostburg) is introducing legislation that would split up those votes, awarding them based on how a candidate does in each of the state’s eight Congressional districts. The remaining two votes would still go to the winner of the statewide popular vote.
Wisconsin is one of 48 states that currently award all of their Electoral votes to the winner of the statewide vote.
LeMahieu says the proposal is about making the sure the will of voters in each Congressional district is actually represented in how Wisconsin casts its Electoral College votes. He also believes it could reduce the risk of fraud in a close presidential election because the stakes of winning the statewide vote would be lower.
State Democratic Party officials say the proposal is nothing more than a “bald-faced power grab” by Republicans who are trying to rig future elections to favor GOP candidates. A Republican presidential candidate has not taken Wisconsin since Ronald Reagan in 1984. LeMahieu denies that’s the case.
He also notes that Democrats in Nebraska are actually in favor of a vote split like he’s currently proposing. In that state, Republicans are pushing for a switch back to granting all Electoral College votes to the winner of the statewide race.
AUDIO: Andrew Beckett reports (1:12)