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The effort in Virginia and other Republican-led states to change how their states allocate electoral college votes seems to be both picking up steam and, with the publicity, on the verge of collapse, depending on who you believe. But count me with Charlie Pierce on this one: The central point of the Virginia one, at least, is flatly racist. There ain't no "maybe" about it, either.

The Virginia proposal goes farther than other states have dared in that it declares that not only will Virginia's electoral votes be divided up based on congressional districts—which, conveniently, are currently heavily gerrymandered on behalf of Republicans, which is in turn why so many of these dim bulbs suddenly got the idea at the same time—but that the last two state electoral votes will go to whoever wins not the most votes, but the most districts. Why? The bill's sponsor is pretty damn blunt about it:

The bill’s sponsor, state Sen. Charles W. Carrico Sr. (R-Grayson County), said he wants to give smaller communities a bigger voice. “The last election, constituents were concerned that it didn’t matter what they did, that more densely populated areas were going to outvote them,” he said.
Catch that? The problem is that there are more voters in the cities, and that makes other areas of the state feel bad. An earlier story on the subject had Carrico giving the same line:
Sen. Charles W. "Bill" Carrico, R-Grayson, said the change is necessary because Virginia's populous, urbanized areas such as the Washington, D.C., suburbs and Hampton Roads can outvote rural regions such as his, rendering their will irrelevant.
Oh, heavens! If every person's vote counts the same, then places with more people will get more votes! You know… urban areas. Places that aren't Republican enough. So the way to fix this, according to Carrico and fellow Republicans, is (1) gerrymandering black (sorry, "urban") voters into fewer districts (already done, and on Martin Luther King Day, because they're just that goddamn obvious about these things), then make the votes from those districts count for proportionally less, per capita, than the good, white, Republican votes of the outlying areas. I'm not sure if the Virginia proposal makes urban votes worth only 3/5ths as much as rural votes, because I am not good at the mathz, but good Lord—Carrico and the others couldn't have made their intent any more plain if they had followed up that previous surprise gerrymander with a statehouse salute to confederate general Stonewall Jackson himself. What? They actually did that? Classic.

Right now it's not clear that the Virginia effort will go anywhere. At least two Republicans have expressed a general hostility to the plan, though not particularly because of the obvious Jim Crow racism of trying to give white, Republican counties extra presidential votes just because they so obviously deserve it.

Other Republican states are plotting similar measures, and for the same reasons, and are beginning to finally get similar scrutiny. The Republican Party has finally realized that being the party of white voters and only white voters is not a sustainable long-term path to anything but a humiliating obsolescence; from there, there are two choices. They could recast their party so as to better appeal to minority and, heaven forfend, "urban" voters—but that would be hard. So they're choosing the far easier, more straightforward path: demonizing the "47 percent", and post-election mutterings about the "urban" voters, and trying to make sure those irritatingly non-Republican votes count for as little as possible. In Virginia's case, they're being downright blunt about it: We need to make urban votes count for proportionally less than other votes, period. Why? Because they're racists pure and simple, that's why. Oh, I'm sorry—because it would create a momentary "strategic advantage" to block those votes, according to the current euphemisms about such things. If you can't keep the non-Republicans from voting, then the next step is to pass laws saying those votes just don't count for as much anymore, because having them count like they used to would be "unfair" to the dwindling Republican folks.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 12:40 PM PST.

Also republished by Black Kos community.

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