State Rep. Matt Hall and State Sen. Aric Nesbitt are among a group of 40 House members and 17 Senators who have penned an open letter to the people of Michigan against efforts to diminish the voices of state voters.
A recently announced initiative would, if approved, award all of Michigan’s electoral votes to the presidential candidate who wins the national popular vote. Fifteen states – including California and New York – along with Washington, D.C., have adopted similar legislation.
“The so-called ‘National Popular Vote’ proposal would permanently disenfranchise every voter in the state, forcing Michigan to cast its presidential elector votes for whoever wins the national popular vote – even if the voters of Michigan overwhelmingly chose someone else,” the letter states. “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. Simply put: Michigan’s votes for president must only be determined by Michigan’s voters.”
“The Electoral College has been a reliable mechanism for presidential elections for centuries, and our founders realized its importance and purpose,” said Hall, of Marshall. “The system ensures everyone who goes to the polls has a valued voice regardless of where they live. Michigan has been a contested state in recent elections. Our voice matters. In the national popular vote system, that voice would be discarded in favor of larger population centers across the country where candidates can play a numbers game and pick up more voters. That strategy will make the concerns and values of residents in our state irrelevant.”
In 2020, almost 3 million people turned out to vote in New York City. Another 4.3 million votes were cast in Los Angeles. Those two cities combined dwarfed Michigan’s record-breaking statewide turnout of 5.5 million votes.
“We need to have more input and voices than just those from the country’s four or five biggest population centers,” said Nesbitt, of Lawton. “Make no mistake – Michigan would be a big loser in a national popular vote arrangement. It’s not the right approach for our state or our residents.”
In addition, the National Popular Vote compact contains no requirements that participating states conduct their federal elections by the same set of rules. Hall and Nesbitt underscored several measures taken by the Legislature so far during the 2021-22 legislative term to strengthen Michigan’s elections, and noted that aligning the state with others in the compact would undo progress that has been made to make state elections run more effectively.
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