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Presidential preference

| Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2013, 9:02 p.m.

Low-information voter Billie Mannheimer claimed in the letter “Perversion of democracy” (Jan. 31 and TribLIVE.com) that state House Bill 94 will make Democrat votes worthless, equating one rural Republican voter to “thousands of Democrat votes in an Allegheny County congressional district.”

The bill would allocate presidential Electoral College votes based upon voter preferences within each congressional district, as is done in Nebraska and Maine. Each congressional district in every state represents an equal proportion of the state's population.

Pennsylvania has 18 congressional districts of about 646,000 people each. The most densely populated, the 1st Congressional District (646,355), covers part of Philadelphia. The least densely populated, the 5th Congressional District (646,397), covers all or parts of 17 counties in the north-central part of the state.

Urban voters would compete with other urban voters to select their presidential choice via their district's electoral vote. Rural voters would have no effect whatsoever outside their district. Not by the wildest stretch of the imagination would one rural Republican neutralize thousands of Democrats. And the choice of nearly half of Pennsylvania's voters would be represented, unlike in the current winner-take-all system.

Another benefit is to limit voter fraud to a district where it is practiced, as only that electoral vote and possibly the two statewide electoral votes would be affected.

Stanley J. Penkala

South Park

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