Tinkering with Electoral College Lancaster County lawmakers are largely lining up against the latest proposal to replace the state's Electoral College winner-take-all system with one that would divvy up electoral votes among the presidential candidates, a
But State Sen. Lloyd Smucker, of West Lampeter, doesn't have to state his position on the proposal -- at least, not yet. His actions speak louder than words.
Smucker is chairman of the Senate State Government Committee, which eventually would be asked to review any legislation in this regard.
But Smucker doesn't seem anxious to take up the proposal.
"There are over 40 bills that have been referred to the committee so far this session, and this (proposal) isn't a top priority," the senator says.
Translation: The Legislature has more important things to do.
Under the proposal -- sponsored by Republican State Reps. Seth Grove, of York County, and Robert Godshall, of Montgomery County -- all but two of the state's 20 electoral votes would be awarded by congressional district results. The remaining two would go to the candidate who wins the most districts.
Backers say the change would give small towns and rural areas more say -- and that's probably true.
They also say it's unfair that a presidential candidate can collect 100 percent of a state's electoral votes by winning just 51 percent of the vote.
But under the proposal, a candidate could win a majority of electoral votes while losing the state's popular vote -- as would have been the case in the last presidential election.
And that doesn't seem fair, either.
A second proposal, offered previously by state Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi, would allocate 18 electoral votes based on the statewide popular vote -- win 50 percent, win nine electoral votes. The remaining two would go to the candidate winning the most votes.
Under Pileggi's plan, Mitt Romney would have received eight of the state's 20 electors. This suggests his plan would more accurately reflect the votes cast in Pennsylvania, although the result would have been the same -- a win for the president.
But to be truly effective, other states would have to adopt a plan similar to Pileggi's, and it is anybody's guess as to whether that is possible.
The current system isn't perfect, but it has served the nation well since its founding and should not be tinkered with.
But under the plan, a candidate could win a majority of electoral votes while losing the popular vote.