CORRECTION: This article has been updated to say this bill is not designed to be a ballot initiative and to show it would need a simple majority to pass.
LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – In the 2000 and 2016 Elections, presidents won the electoral vote despite losing the popular vote. Now, there’s a push in Michigan to change that.
“National popular vote ensures that every voter in every state will have an equal say in the presidential election,” State Representative, Carrie Rheingans said.
The National Popular vote, a new way to elect the president was introduced in the state nearly 50 years ago by Michigan congressman Gerald Ford. The bill initiative wasn’t supported then.
“Enacting national popular vote will apply the concept of one person, one vote, to our presidential elections making every voter politically relevant,” a League of Women Voters spokesperson said.
If the bill is passed, Michigan could one day award its electoral votes not to whoever has more votes in the state, but to whoever wins the most votes across the nation.
Wednesday, many state lawmakers and other political groups voiced their support of the bill and say it would help fix a broken political system.
“A candidate who lost national popular vote has gone on to become president two out of the last six elections,” a Common Cause spokesperson said.
While people on the other side of this issue say the system is far from broken. State Republican Representative, Tim Walberg told MLive that the national popular vote would take away the right of Michiganders to “select their own candidate and instead allow large states like California to determine our electoral votes.”
The bill needs a simple majority in the Michigan House and Michigan Senate to pass and become law.