LANSING, Mich. (Michigan News Source) – The Michigan House Elections Committee voted on Tuesday to send the National Popular Vote bill to the full chamber for consideration.
Is this a beneficial move for Michigan? It depends on who you ask.
The Michigan Democratic Party is all in when it comes to the National Popular Vote (NPV), which would shift Michigan’s electoral votes into other states with similar NPV legislation.
“We’re seeing movement across the country – from Minnesota recently passing this legislation, to lawmakers considering bills in Nevada and Alaska,” said Michigan Democratic Party Chair Lavora Barnes. “Adding Michigan’s 15 electoral votes will get us closer to applying the concept of ‘one person, one vote’ to our presidential elections,” she said.
In addition, Barnes stated the bill would ensure the candidate who gets the most popular votes wins.
“It will help ensure every voice is heard and every vote truly counts in every presidential election,” Barnes said.
Meanwhile, Republicans in Michigan’s House Freedom Caucus condemned the move, calling it a “radical attack” on the electoral college.
“HB 4156 is irresponsible legislation,” said Rep. Rachelle Smit (R-Martin). “Public trust in our elections is at an all-time low, and House Democrats are keen to remove the oversight Michigan voters have in deciding which candidate receives our 15 electoral votes. We could see a situation where the state electors cast their ballots for someone who lost our state by hundreds of thousands of votes.”
GOP leaders said the NPV compact has been adopted in 15 Democrat states and Washington D.C. It represents 195 votes in the electoral college. If Michigan adds its 15 electoral votes, Republicans said it would leave the electoral college 60 electoral votes from “destruction.”
“The issues that are most important to us here in Michigan are wildly different from those in Los Angeles County,” said Rep. Joseph Fox (R-Fremont). “NPV would give [Michigan] the same voice as one county in California. We will see a dramatic decrease in our relevance in national policymaking should this pass,” Rep. Fox said.
Michigan used to have 16 electoral votes, but a decrease in population during the last U.S. Census lead the state to lose one.