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House Co-Sponsorship Memoranda

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House of Representatives
Session of 2013 - 2014 Regular Session


Posted: December 19, 2012 03:32 PM
From: Representative Robert W. Godshall and Rep. Seth M. Grove
To: All House members
Subject: Reallocate Presidential Electors Based on Congressional Districts
As you know, the Electoral College is the institution that officially elects the President and Vice President of the United States every four years. Electors are chosen by each state and the District of Columbia. The number of electors in each State is equal to the number of members of Congress to which the State is entitled. Currently, the total number of electors is 538. Article II, Section 1, Clause 2 of the U.S. Constitution specifies the number of electors to which each state is entitled and state legislatures decide how they are chosen.

In nearly all states, except Maine and Nebraska, electors are awarded on a winner-take-all basis to the candidate who wins the most votes in that state. Although no elector is required by law to honor a pledge, in the overwhelming majority of cases each elector votes as pledged.

Maine and Nebraska both use an alternative method of distributing their electoral votes, known as the Congressional District Method. In the near future, I intend to introduce legislation to implement the Congressional District Method in Pennsylvania. Under this legislation, one elector will be awarded to the winner of the plurality in each congressional district and the remaining two electors will be granted to the winner of the statewide popular vote.

I believe that the Congressional District Method will increase voter turnout and encourage candidates to campaign in all states rather than just those that are competitive. Most importantly, this method of selecting presidential electors will give a stronger voice to voters in all regions of our great Commonwealth.

Introduced as HB94