The Birmingham News reports: Alabama, starting in 2012, would divide its nine electoral votes among presidential candidates based on the percentage of the popular vote they won in the general election, under a bill passed by a legislative panel Wednesday.
Alabama now awards all of its electoral votes to the presidential candidate who wins the most votes statewide. So do almost all other states.
Rep. Demetrius Newton, D-Birmingham, said he thinks the winner-take-all system discourages voting in Alabama. Republican presidential candidates have carried the state since 1980. Newton said some Republicans may have stayed home because they assumed a Republican win, and some Democrats may have stayed home for the same reason.
He said distributing Alabama's nine electoral votes in proportion to the candidates' popular votes would give both sides incentive to go to the polls. Newton noted that a third-party candidate, if he or she did well enough, also could get one or more of Alabama's electoral votes. "All of the winners and the losers have a voice" under a proportional system, Newton said. "Today, the losers have no voice." -- Alabama legislative panel passes plan to award Alabama's nine electoral votes proportionately, depending on the vote counts of the presidential candidates.) - al.com
Here is the bill:
By Representatives Newton (D), Moore (M), Rogers, Dunn, Todd, Graham, Knight, Robinson (J), Curtis, Schmitz, Spicer, Black, Kennedy, Guin, Boothe, Baker (L), Thomas (J) and Vance
RFD Constitution and Elections
Rd 1 03-FEB-09
SYNOPSIS: Under existing law, nine presidential and vice presidential electors are nominated at large and statewide by the political parties.
This bill would provide for the election of presidential and vice presidential electors in direct proportional relationship to the popular vote beginning in the 2012 presidential election.
TO BE ENTITLED
To amend Section 17-14-34, Code of Alabama 1975, relating to the election of presidential and vice presidential electors, to provide for the election of presidential and vice presidential electors in direct proportional relationship to the popular vote beginning in the 2012 presidential election.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF ALABAMA:
Section 1. Section 17-14-34, Code of Alabama 1975, is amended to read as follows:
Within Beginning with the 2012 presidential election and continuing thereafter, within 15 days after the time for making the returns, the Governor, in the presence of the Secretary of State and Attorney General, or either of them in the absence of the other, must certify the returns, and ascertain which electors are elected , and notify them by proclamation by the total number of popular votes for each presidential and vice presidential candidate. The number of electors for each candidate shall directly correspond to the percentage of the popular vote received by that candidate. The Governor shall then notify by proclamation each presidential elector as elected."
Section 2. This act shall become effective on the first day of the third month following its passage and approval by the Governor, or its otherwise becoming law.