A proposal to force Michigan’s presidential electors to cast ballots for the national popular vote winner — regardless of the results in the state — is meeting opposition from a majority of Republican legislators.
State Sen. Aric Nesbitt (R-Lawton) and state Rep. Matt Hall (R-Marshall) spearheaded the effort to collect 57 signatures from legislators opposed to the idea. According to the Detroit News, 17 of the 20 Republican senators and 40 of the 57 Republican representatives signed on in opposition.
“It is imperative that the candidate who receives Michigan’s electoral votes is determined by Michiganders — and not by voters in other parts of the country,” the letter said. “Simply put: Michigan’s votes for president must only be determined by Michigan’s voters.
“The voters of Michigan should not have their will determined by influences of other states. It would be a mistake to abandon a system so essential to our Republic.”
The letter comes after two former state party chairman — Democrat Mark Brewer and Republican Saul Anuzis — joined forces to announce “Yes on National Popular Vote of Michigan,” a citizens initiative campaign to collect signatures to force a legislative vote. If one does not occur, the question would go on the November 2022 ballot for a statewide vote.
“The ‘National Popular Vote’ is an attempt by liberals in California and New York to disenfranchise and silence Michigan voters,” Michigan Freedom Fund executive director Tori Sachs said in a statement. Sachs has been vocal in its opposition to the proposal.
“It is imperative that the candidate who receives Michigan’s electoral votes is determined by Michiganders — and not by voters in other parts of the country. We are proud to see so many members of our state legislature standing up to ensure Michigan voters keep their voice in presidential elections. Thank you to Rep. Hall and Sen. Nesbitt for leading this important effort.”
The Michigan Freedom Fund noted the combined votes from New York City and Los Angeles — 7.27 million — dwarfed the total cast in Michigan in 2020, 5.5 million. Therefore, the letter argued that the policy “would make it easy for a presidential candidate to ignore policies important to Michigan on the campaign trail and in the White House.”
According to Bridge, the proposal would not eliminate the Electoral College, but amend how votes are awarded.
Fifteen states and Washington, D.C. have adopted similar policies since 2006.
Two recent presidential candidates — Republicans George W. Bush and Donald Trump — both won despite losing the popular vote. If “Yes” on the National Popular Vote of Michigan had its way in 200 and 2016, both candidates would have lost.
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Cooper Moran is a reporter for The Star News Network. Follow Cooper on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected]
Photo “Rep. Matt Hall” by Michigan House Republicans, photo “Senator Aric Nesbitt” by senatoraricnesbitt and photo “Michigan state floor” by MittenStatePhototog CC BY 2.0.