U.S. Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa., is stating his opposition to a plan that would change the way Pennsylvania’s electoral votes are allocated for president.
Casey spelled out his opposition to Senate Bill 538 in a letter to Pennsylvania Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi.
“S.B. 538 is the wrong policy at the wrong time,” Casey said in a statement. “For over 200 years Pennsylvanians have spoken with one voice on presidential elections and that should continue. Today, I’m urging the General Assembly to reconsider this proposal that is the wrong path for Pennsylvania.”
Here is the full text of Casey’s letter to Pileggi:
“I write to express my opposition to S.B. 538, legislation recently introduced by you and 12 other state Senators to amend Pennsylvania’s Election Code. If enacted, S.B. 538 would drastically alter the method by which the Commonwealth allocates its 20 electoral votes and diminish the historical role Pennsylvania has played in electing our nation’s presidents. I respectfully urge you to reconsider this legislation.
“Since the first presidential election in 1789, Pennsylvania citizens have participated in 56 presidential elections. For over 200 years, the Commonwealth’s electoral votes have gone to the candidate receiving the plurality of the popular vote. As you know, 48 states and the District of Colombia also use this so-called general-ticket method, yet S.B. 538 would make Pennsylvania the only state in the country to allocate its votes proportionately. Under this system, all but two electoral votes would be allocated based on the percentage of the statewide popular vote received by a candidate, dividing the Commonwealth’s 20 votes.
“Several political scientists have asserted that by doing away with the current winner-take-all system, Pennsylvania’s influence would diminish, ceding power to the voters of other large, politically diverse states. As a commonwealth, our state should speak with one voice when the people of Pennsylvania make a decision in a presidential election.
“As S.B. 538 moves forward, I respectfully urge you to ensure that this bill is considered and debated with complete transparency, allowing for a thorough review by way of public hearings in the Senate. To pass this bill absent appropriate Senate hearings would not be in the best interests of the people of Pennsylvania. Thank you for your consideration of my views on this legislation.”
What are your thoughts on the bill?
– John Guerriero