Could the next attack on democracy be a state-level electoral college?

By Brett Pransky

June 21, 2022

The Texas Republican Party Convention last week was quite the event

  • They approved a measure that stated Joe Biden “was not legitimately elected,” a claim that is entirely false.
  • They rebuked the Senate Republicans working on bipartisan gun legislation.
  • They created  a plank in the platform that describes homosexuality as “an abnormal lifestyle choice,” intentionally mislabelling sexuality as a “choice.”
  • The platform also endorsed secession from the United States

They even managed to physically attack Congressman Dan Crenshaw, one of the most radical right-wingers in the House of Representatives, for not being pure enough ideologically.

And Pennsylvanians should take notice, since the GOP in Pennsylvania will almost certainly follow suit.

But perhaps the most dangerous proposal is currently flying under the radar.

The creation of a state-level electoral college is perhaps the most anti-democratic proposal in the entire Texas GOP platform, and the likelihood that other states will try to mimic it is high.

After all, the federal electoral college elected the last two GOP presidents (George Bush & Donald Trump) even though both lost the popular vote by substantial margins. Duplicating this process at the state-level is something that Pennsylvanians should prepare for, since the statewide popular vote is perhaps the single greatest barrier keeping the radical right from consolidating power.

By creating a system in which a candidate could lose the popular vote, but then win the election anyway, the GOP could remove that barrier, eliminate the idea of “one person, one vote” and install the candidate of their choosing.

While it is arguable that subverting the will of the people was the original intent of the electoral college at the federal level, it is certainly the intent of the current proposal in Texas, and this is why Pennsylvanians should expect it to rear its ugly, anti-democratic head here at home.
In the current state of unchecked radicalism on the right, many institutions are under attack, and those attacks are accelerating.


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