Republican leader advocates Electoral College changes

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HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Even before 2012 is over, Dominic Pileggi is advocating a change in the way Pennsylvania will count its votes in the next presidential election.



The state Senate Republican leader caused a stir last fall when he proposed abandoning the method 48 states currently use to award their Electoral College votes: the statewide election winner gets all the electoral votes.



Because Democratic President Barack Obama beat Republican nominee Mitt Romney in Pennsylvania — by 5 percent of the 5.7 million ballots cast in the Nov. 6 election — the state’s 20 electoral votes were folded into Obama’s re-election total.



Pileggi argues that the winner-take-all system is inherently unfair because the losing party — that’s been the GOP in presidential elections going back to 1992 in Pennsylvania — gets no credit in the electoral count.



Nationally, the Republican Party is in a strong position to change the laws and chip away at the Democrats’ advantage in major battlegrounds like Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin. All three states have been carried by Democrats in the last six presidential elections but are run by Republican governors and legislatures.



A spokesman for the Republican National Committee called such proposals “state matters.”



“We’re aware that a few states are re-examining how their electoral votes are allocated and we’ll continue to monitor” the situation, said the spokesman, Ryan Mahoney.



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