Michigan Electoral College Ballot Initiative Could Bind State to National Popular Vote, Hack Presidential Election

A proposed ballot initiative in the state of Michigan would bind the state’s electors in future presidential elections to the national popular vote, potentially overriding the will of the state’s voters and swinging the result of presidential elections.

Yes on National Popular Vote, announced Monday, would automatically assign Michigan’s 15 electoral votes to the candidate that wins the national popular vote, in the event that states holding more than 270 electoral college votes agree to participate in a popular-vote pact of sorts.

The ballot initiative still requires 340,000 signatures from eligible voters to make the 2022 ballot. A former Michigan Republican Party chair, Saul Anuzis, has drawn criticism from Michigan conservatives for backing the proposal, which  would give more power than ever to bigger states such as California, New York, and Texas.

The Electoral College was partly born from the American founders’ skepticism of big cities and population centers dominating governance, which they predicted would result in centralized government and erode the rights of rural citizens of smaller states. The national popular vote would expressly reject such a sentiment, making American elections more closely resemble a hypothetical national European Union election than an election for a union of independent states.

Colorado already agreed to join the ‘national popular vote compact’ in 2020, raising the possibility that more blue-leaning states will sign up for the extraconstitutional means to abolish the electoral college. 15 states in total have already signed up for the idea, which could face serious legal scrutiny if it ever seriously affected a presidential election.

If the proposition gets enough signatures, it’ll likely be rejected by Michigan’s Republican legislature before being voted upon by the people of Michigan.

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