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Thursday, November 13, 2014

Electoral College vote scheme now in play for Michigan lame-duck session

Posted By on Thu, Nov 13, 2014 at 3:34 PM

click to enlarge Michigan Capitol Building - WIKIMEDIA COMMONS
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  • Michigan Capitol Building

A Republican state lawmaker wants Michigan to change the way it awards its electoral college votes in the presidential election. From Bridge magazine:
Term-limited state Rep. Pete Lund, R-Shelby Township, has introduced bills during the last two sessions that would change the way Michigan’s electoral votes are awarded to a system that almost certainly would be more favorable to Republican presidential candidates.

Under the plan expected to be introduced by Lund today, the winner-take-all method of awarding electoral votes would be scrapped for a method that would in virtually all elections split those votes. In the proposal, according to Ari Adler, director of communications for House Speaker Jase Bolger, the candidate getting the most votes statewide would be awarded a majority of the state’s electoral votes – currently, that would mean at least a 9-7 split; Under the formula, for every 1.5 percent above 50.1 percent of the vote (counting only the votes cast for the top-two candidates), the winning candidate gets an additional electoral vote.

As MT's News Hits reported last week, now that the election has passed, it seemed almost certain this scheme would soon be at play:

In a nutshell, the way things work now, Michigan’s Electoral College votes are given entirely to the winning candidate. Under the possible change that top Republicans have indicated they might support, votes would be apportioned by congressional district, with a bonus number of votes for whichever candidate scoops the most districts in that race.

The repercussions are obvious: As it has been widely reported, under that sort of system, Mitt Romney would have won more electoral votes in Michigan, even though he garnered fewer votes than winner President Barack Obama.

Lund's reasoning, though? "Right now, Michigan is meaningless in the electoral process along with 40 other states," he told Bridge, adding, "We need to come up with a system that brings candidates to the state." 

Or, considering the Legislature will maintain a Republican-led majority, it's a means to ensure whomever runs as the Republican presidential nominee in 2016 will secure votes in the Electoral College — even if they lose the state.

Bloomberg Politics offers up a longer examination of the issue here

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