In 2012, the Republican Party led a coordinated campaign to disenfranchise millions of voters through burdensome voter ID laws and shortened early voting periods—with the express purpose of sending Mitt Romney to the White House.
They failed. Republicans lost their battle to suppress the vote in our nation's courts, and they lost on the issues at the ballot box, as African Americans, Latinos, and young voters turned out in record numbers. But instead of learning the lessons of 2012 and working to appeal to our growing electorate, Republicans are fixated on finding new ways to undermine the majority of voters and keep another Democrat from winning in 2016.
Their philosophy is simple: "If you can't beat 'em, rig the game."
Tomorrow in Virginia—where President Obama won decisively in 2012—a state Senate committee will vote on a bill that would rig the 2016 election in favor of Republican candidates by changing how the Electoral College appropriates votes.
Currently in Virginia, Electoral College votes are allocated on a winner-take-all basis. But Republicans want them allocated by congressional district—ensuring their heavily gerrymandered Republican districts will deliver for the Republican candidate in the next presidential election.
If this scheme had been in place in 2012, President Obama would have won only four out of 13 electoral votes in Virginia—even though he received 140,000 more votes from Virginia voters than Romney did.
It's too extreme even for Virginia's Bob McDonnell, one of the most far-right governors in the country. A spokesman for McDonnell said last week, "The governor does not support this legislation. He believes Virginia's existing system works just fine as it is."
But another Tea Party governor, Scott Walker of Wisconsin, thinks election rigging is an "interesting" idea—something "worth looking at."
This is only the beginning. Virginia and Wisconsin are just the first of several states President Obama won in 2012 whose Republican governors and legislatures are considering rigging their Electoral College votes in favor of the GOP. And the head of the party, Republican National Committee chair Reince Priebus, has endorsed the plan, saying, "I think it's something that a lot of states that have been consistently blue that are fully controlled red ought to be looking at."
But if we learned anything in 2012, it's that the American people will not stand by and watch Republican politicians manipulate our electoral process and trample on our hard-won voting rights. We'll fight to make our voices heard and our ballots counted—and oppose any and all attempts to rig our electoral process.
For more information on the Republican-sponsored efforts to rig the next presidential election, sign up for updates from the Democratic Party.