Officials in Virginia and Ohio, once reliably red states that have gone for President Obama in the past two elections, have discussed the idea of apportioning their electoral votes by congressional district — a system some say would more accurately reflect the will of the states’ voters but one that others dismiss as an unnecessary political ploy.

The talks come as demographic shifts have pushed the GOP’s reliable bastions to more exurban and rural areas, allowing Democrats to win such states by sufficiently running up their margins in a comparatively small number of densely-populated cities and counties.

To that end, Virginia state Sen. Charles W. Carrico, Sr., Grayson Republican, has introduced a bill that would award one electoral vote to the winner of each of the state’s 11 congressional districts, and the state’s two at-large votes to the candidate that wins the majority of the districts.

Mr. Carrico cited the results in the southwestern 9th Congessional District — where Mitt Romney won 63 percent of the vote — as part of the reason he introduced the bill.

“People in my district — they feel discouraged by coming out because their votes don’t mean anything if they’re outvoted in metropolitan districts,” Mr. Carrico said. “It can go either way — it doesn’t necessarily mean that one political party is going to be favored over another. When they come out to vote, they know their vote counts instead of a winner-take-all. I’d love to see other states to do this because I don’t feel the Electoral College right now is a fair system.”

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