Legislation would award electoral votes by congressional district
State Rep. Jaime Greene has introduced a plan to end Michigan’s “winner-take-all” approach to allocating electoral votes for presidential elections.
Currently, the presidential candidate who wins the popular vote in Michigan is awarded all the state’s electoral votes. Greene said that means up to 49% of Michigan voters are disenfranchised, as their candidate receives no electoral votes.
“The hyper-partisan nature of a winner-take-all system is not conducive to unity, nor is it beneficial to the 10 million-plus Michigan residents, who live in one of the most diverse states in the country,” said Greene, R-Richmond. “Distributing electoral votes proportionally, based on the winning candidate in each congressional district, will ensure that every part of Michigan matters. It will encourage presidential candidates to visit both urban and rural areas and meet with residents in every corner of our state.”
Under House Bills 4216-17, each political party would choose candidates for presidential electors during its state convention, just like under current law. One presidential elector would be chosen from each congressional district, and two electors at large.
The presidential elector would then be selected from the political party with the greatest number of votes for president in that congressional district. The at-large electors would be chosen from the political party with the presidential candidate who receives the greatest number of total votes in Michigan.
This method has been used in Nebraska since 1991 and in Maine since 1972.
Greene said her plan presents a much better alternative to the National Popular Vote legislation that has been proposed by Democrats in the House. The Democrat plan diminishes the voices of voters in smaller states and rural areas of the country.
“The National Popular Vote Interstate Compact is a ploy to bypass the Constitution and fundamentally alter the Electoral College without the scrutiny of the formal amendment process,” Greene said. “It disenfranchises Michigan voters by committing our state’s electors based on the outcome of other states.”
House Bills 4216-17 have been referred to the House Elections Committee for consideration.
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