Pennsylvania's Proportional Electoral Vote Allocation Proposal: A Nationwide Analysis

by Andrea Levien, Devin McCarthy, Rob Richie // Published July 24, 2013

This report examines the effects of a bill proposed by Pennsylvania State Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi to alter the way that Pennsylvania allocates its Electoral College votes. Under the “Pillegi plan,” Pennsylvania would allocate its electoral votes on a proportional basis, as opposed to its current winner-take-all system. The plan would be a contentious issue if implemented in Pennsylvania alone because of its clear partisan impact, but it is no more defensible if enacted nationwide. It would incentivize campaigns to focus all their attention on the plan's new swing states and continue to leave most states entirely irrelevant in presidential elections. Furthermore, it would significantly distort the voting power of voters based on where they live, giving a disproportionate amount of influence to a handful of small swing states.