Sidebar - Popular support lukewarm for National Popular Vote Initiative

John Tarrant

Early last month, a bill was introduced in the Michigan House that would, if it becomes law, bring about a major change in the way Michigan voters elect a president. The bill, introduced by Rep. Tim Kelly, R-Saginaw, and co-sponsored by Antrim County’s state representative, Triston Cole and Kalkaska’s Daire Rendon, would change the manner in which Michigan’s electoral votes are counted. Right now, Michigan awards its electoral votes on a “winner take all” basis, meaning that all of our state’s electoral votes go to the winner of the state’s popular vote. If Kelly’s bill becomes law, Michigan’s electoral votes would all go to the presidential candidate with the highest national popular vote. Ms. Rendon told me a matching bill has been introduced in the state Senate.
This is all part of a nationwide campaign called The National Popular Vote Compact, initiated several years ago, that asks state legislatures to pass similar bills. If enough states with a total number of electoral votes equaling 270, the number needed to elect a president, pass this legislation, it will reconcile the Electoral College vote with the popular vote and prevent situations where a candidate is elected with the necessary electoral votes without a majority of the popular vote. The Electoral College would continue to perform its constitutional purpose and the right of the states to control their elections would be preserved.

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