A group of conservative Eastern Washington lawmakers are proposing that the state’s voters in the Electoral College be assigned by congressional district, which would change the state’s current winner-take-all system in presidential elections.
State House Bill 1091 would assign one elector from each congressional district to represent the political party of the candidate who received the most votes in that area. Two remaining at-large electors would be chosen to represent the party of the candidate who won the vote statewide.
President Barack Obama won all of the state’s 12 electoral votes in 2012 after winning the state with 56 percent of the vote. But under HB 1091, Republican nominee Mitt Romney could have received as many as four of the state’s electoral votes.
The bill was introduced by Rep. Matt Shea, R-Spokane Valley, and co-sponsored by Rep. David Taylor, R-Moxee.
The bill is unlikely to receive a floor vote. Democrats have a strong majority in the state House of Representatives and aren’t likely to devote time to a bill that would shave electors from the tally earned by Democratic presidential candidates.
A Republican candidate for president has not won the state of Washington since Ronald Reagan did it in 1984. About 41 percent of the state’s voters favored Mitt Romney in the 2012 election.