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Michigan has experienced being a battleground and a non-battleground in the same Election Bicycle, recalled former state Republican Party chairman Saul Anujis, when GOP nominee John McCain closed up shop in 2008 to devote resources to states where he was more competitive.

“Once McCain pulled out, our victory centers closed, all of our funding was gone, volunteers left and voters just stayed home,” said Anujis, who is now joining the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact for Michigan. advocating for a referendum, told Granthshala News. “The presidential campaign is always a draw in the presidential year. When you declare that it’s not relevant, your turnout drops. It cost us two congressional seats, nine state legislative seats, its actually in the state. had a devastating effect.”

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What Anujis said drew him to the campaign for the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact. In the compact the states commit their voters to the national vote winner, no matter who takes the state. Since 2006, the compact has received 15 states and the District of Columbia with 195 electoral votes to date. However, this commitment would not go into effect unless the compact had enough states for the 270 electoral votes needed to win.

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Anujis and former Michigan Democratic Party President Mark Brewer launched Last week’s “Yes on National Popular Vote” ballot initiative to add Michigan’s 15 electoral votes to the compact. The initiative must collect 340,047 Michigan voter signatures over 180 days to appear on the 2022 ballot.

Also last week, Michigan State Representative Matt Koleser, Democratic vice chairman of the House Elections and Ethics Committee, introduced legislation to become the 16th state to join the popular vote compact. The bill reflects the language of the ballot initiative.

“Michigenders should be reassured that their voices are heard equally, and a national popular vote ensures one person, one vote,” Kolesar said in a statement. Statement.

The Republican majority in the Michigan legislature is unlikely to pass the coalescer bill, so a ballot initiative is the best hope for popular vote backers.

If the Michigan petition campaign is successful, it would mark a determination by voters for only a second time. In 2020, Colorado voters decided to vote 52% popular vote to join the compact, lack of 57% who supported Joe Biden Over Donald Trump in Blue Colorado. This indicates that even if support for the Electoral College has broken out along party lines in recent years, a decisive majority could be a challenge.

Trent England, executive director of Save Our States, a pro-election college group, said convincing voters in Michigan to give up the advantage of being a battleground is a tough sell.

“Michigans will clearly be a loser under a national popular vote because they get a lot of attention from candidates,” England told Granthshala News. “Obviously, this will change with a national popular vote. The national popular vote campaign likes to pretend that every state will be a swing state and that every state will get so much attention. Really the only way out is if political campaigns pick up. and spend 100 times more money than they collect and spend today. So Michigan will be losing big time.”

Trump won Michigan’s 16 electoral votes by a narrow margin in 2016 and lost by a narrow margin in 2020. After the census, the state has 15 electoral votes.

In 2019, Democratic Gov. Steve Sisolak of Nevada vetoed The popular vote measure, while competing as a small state, Nevada has an advantage under the Electoral College. In the same year, the Maine State Legislature rejected a bill To join the interstate agreement on a bipartisan vote.

“The reality is, they’ve run out of states where they can pass it through the legislature,” England said. “He’s had some support in Michigan in the past and a lot of those supporters have switched sides and are now opposed to the national popular vote. There’s no chance the Michigan legislature will pass the NPV. It’s their kind of Hail Mary. Try to take it to the voters and see if they will pass it.”

The National Popular Vote campaign spent $26,501 lobbying Michigan lawmakers to adopt the measure in 2018 Detroit News reported.

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Anujis anticipates that Michiganders will be receptive because they know that “battlefield conditions are fleeting,” noting the once fierce swing states of Ohio and Florida now seem solidly red.

Anujis said, “It’s not like your battlefield status is forever. The highlight of this proposal is that every voter in every state is politically relevant every time.” “So, from Michigan’s point of view, we lose nothing.”

In addition to the above Colorado and the District of Columbia; Other states that have already joined the compact are California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington state.

The states are all solidly blue, and Democrat skepticism for the Electoral College was founded in 2000 by George W. Bush won the presidency and Trump won in 2016 despite losing the popular vote. Three other presidents, Benjamin Harris in 1888, Rutherford B. Hayes in 1876, and John Quincy Adams in 1824, also won without a popular vote.

Anujis said the compact protects the rights of the Electoral College and the states on how to award their voters. Furthermore, he said it was a myth that going to a popular vote would give Democrats an advantage over Republicans.

Voter turnout in swing states is as high as 15%, but under the NPV model, Anujis said, GOP voters in dark blue states — or Democrat voters in dark red states — are more likely to drop out.

Anujis said, “Republicans kneel against it because they think Al Gore and Hillary Clinton will be president. Democrats kneel for it because they think Al Gore and Hillary Clinton will be president.” “I think we [Republicans] Presidents can’t win elections when we have a majority of governors, we have a majority of state legislatures, a majority of attorneys general? These are huge numbers.”