NewsNation | January 25, 2013
>> looking to change the electoral college system and battleground states that democrats have won in the last two cycles and that includes the state of virginia where the president won all 13 electoral votes . now, get this. if the plan republicans are pushing was already in effect, mitt romney would have earned nine of those votes putting the commonwealth in his column. judith brown dianis is an expert on voting rights issues. judith, explain the state of virginia could basically vote on this measure as early as next week. do they have the juice to pull this off?
>> well, you know, this is really just a continuation of what we saw in 2011 and 2012 with republicans really trying to manipulate the voting system . so that they can win. and so, what we're seeing in virginia is that they're lining up to change the way that votes get counted for president so that in 2016 we will see a difference. and, you know, they control the legislature. and so, here you have them lining up to say, we're not going to do it the way it should be done and not having the popular vote , meaning each and every one of the votes count and then the president would get, you know, the winner takes all. instead, we're going to do it by congressional district . but by the way, we've drawn the lines so that republicans can have all control over congressional districts so our guy will win.
>> this is gerrymandering at the best. packing and stacking to make it happen. four states where this is currently being considered. virginia just one of them, as well as ohio, michigan and pennsylvania. i had a chance to speak with our ed schultz earlier today and listen to his reaction about this.
>> it's a wake-up call to every grass roots organization in this country to win at state level to protect the national election. the republicans aren't doing this because there's a lack of representation. they're doing this to win the executive branch . they're doing this because they don't want a democrat in the white house . and they have realized the power at the local level.
>> all right. so judith, as we talk about virginia specifically, there are two virginia republican senators opposing the bill coming out saying they're not in favor of doing this. they think that it's basically doomed in the senate. as i said, i mean, what are the chances that they will be able to collectively, those that are in favor of this, get the power to pull this off next week?
>> there's a very good chance. i mean, you know, partisan politics wins out. people will line themselves up behind this because they know they think for the republican party this is for the greater good. and so, we really have to think about the fact that we continue to see politicians manipulating the election system . committing voter fraud on us. you know, making sure that they get to win. they change -- because they couldn't win what they do is they change the rules of the game . they're rigging the election system so that in 2016 they'll be able to do it and i'm pretty sure they will line up their party and they'll all vote in unison.
>> as people know who follow the makeup of the electoral college know that nebraska and maine have this system in place. using that example, why isn't this something that can work in certain states? other battleground states .
>> well, i mean, you know, what we're concerned about is in particular places where you have large cities or where the republicans have actually concentrated, especially communities of color, in to one district. that means that those folks are not going to have a real voice because they'll get one vote and then the votes in the electoral college will be scattered so the voting power of communities of color in particular diluted and republicans were really smart to make sure when they took over state legislatures it was in a year where redistricting happened and divide political power and so they decided in it a way in which they can win in the end.
>> incumbents control the map right