Casey Opposes Plan That Would Change Electoral College Process in PA

Proposed Legislation Would Diminish Influence of Pennsylvania Voters

In a Letter to PA Senate Leader Pileggi, Casey Outlines Opposition and Urges Proposal Be Reconsidered

Casey: Pennsylvania Must ‘Speak with One Voice’

Washington DC- Today, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) opposed a plan that would dramatically change how Pennsylvania’s electoral votes are allocated. In a letter to Pennsylvania Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi, Casey outlined his opposition to the bill, S.B. 538. 

“S.B. 538 is the wrong policy at the wrong time,” Senator Casey said. “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.”

The full text of Senator Casey’s letter can be seen below:

March 18, 2013

The Honorable Dominic Pileggi
Majority Leader, Senate of Pennsylvania

Dear Senator 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.

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