Michigan group delays bid to elect national popular winner

Dec 16, 2021, 12:35 AM | Updated: 2:50 pm

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — A group on Thursday dropped plans to circulate petitions for a 2022 ballot drive to award Michigan’s electoral votes to the presidential candidate who wins the national popular vote if enough other states join the pact, saying they will instead target the 2024 ballot.

The initiative, which was launched in September, had drawn criticism from Republican lawmakers and the state GOP despite one of organizers being a former leader of the Michigan Republican Party. The other organizer is Mark Brewer, ex-chairman of the state Democratic Party.

“Michigan should join 15 other states and move this country toward a national popular vote, so we will remain steadfast in our efforts to bring about this necessary reform that will apply the principle of ‘one person, one vote’ to our presidential election,” said Saul Anuzis, former chairman of the state GOP. He said the committee, Yes on National Popular Vote of Michigan, will continue fundraising and other work.

The movement would be successful when member states account for at least 270 electoral votes — the minimum threshold to secure the presidency. The number now stands at 195.

Twice this century, the loser of the popular vote has become president. And the 2020 race came down to narrow margins in a handful of swing states despite Democrat Joe Biden scoring a decisive win over President Donald Trump in the popular vote.

Michigan Republican Party Chairman Ron Weiser said the national popular vote campaign threatens to take away Michigan voters’ voice in electing the president.

Under the current system, each state is assigned a certain number of electoral votes based on population. In all but two states, the winner of a state’s popular vote takes all of the electoral votes.

“We’re proud to have taken a strong stance against turning over Michigan’s electoral votes to California and we will fight this again if it rears its ugly head in the future,” Weiser said.

___

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Michigan group delays bid to elect national popular winner