Opinion: National Popular Vote makes each vote count
Having the state Legislature determine how Michigan’s presidential electors are chosen is exactly what the Founding Fathers intended when they created the Electoral College..
Those who oppose the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact with assertions that the plan is unconstitutional are just wrong. The bill, as introduced in the state House and state Senate, is just what article 2, section 1 of the U.S. Constitution spells out.
In 2016, Hillary Clinton did get more votes that President Donald J. Trump, but she did not win the election. That’s because we don’t have a national popular vote. Since we did not have a true national election or a national popular vote, we have no idea whether Clinton would have won in 2016 or Al Gore would have won in 2000.
Both the Trump and Clinton campaigns ran a race based on the rules in place, which created a campaign in just 12 states where we, for all practical purposes, elected the president of the Battle Ground States of America as opposed to the president of the United States of America. It’s notable that Trump himself has said he would have campaigned differently if there had been a national popular vote.
Under the current winner-take-all laws that 48 states currently use, only swing or battleground states matter in the general election. Over 90 percent of all the resources and visits by presidential campaigns are targeted to the battleground states, while four out of five Americans are completely ignored.
Read the Federalist Papers and the minutes of the 1787 constitutional convention. If you do so, you will find that the Founding Fathers took 30 votes over 22 days on how to elect a president and couldn’t agree. So, they created the Electoral College to give states the right to decide how to allocate their electors to the Electoral College. The current winner-take-all system did not take effect in every state until 1862; decades after the last Founding Father had died. It was never contemplated nor debated at the constitutional convention.
Despite the hyperbole of ill-informed critics, the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact not only preserves the Electoral College, but is a constitutionally appropriate way to change how electors are chosen with the simple goal of making every voter in every state politically relevant in every election.
I want to make sure that Michigan voters — whether Republican, Democrat or independent — are as relevant and influential as Ohio and Florida voters. This can only be accomplished with passage of the compact.
Saul Anuzis is a former chairman of the Michigan Republican Party and senior consultant to National Popular Vote.