The opposition to changing how Michigan’s 16 electoral votes are allocated was unanimous during a committee hearing on a bill that would change the state’s winner-take-all system for presidential candidates. But House Elections and Ethics Committee chairwoman, state Rep. Lisa Posthumus Lyons, R-Alto, decided not to take a vote on the controversial issue Tuesday. “This whole process is to bring this issue up for a good discussion. I haven’t decided yet whether we’ll vote or not,” she said. “Our electoral college system in Michigan is broken, and we have to focus on making Michigan matter more in terms of having our presidential candidates give Michigan voters attention on Michigan issues.” The 14 people who testified before the committee were all opposed to the latest proposal, saying Michigan should concentrate on more sensible election reforms that would increase turnout — like allowing for no-reason absentee voting and same day registration, instead of confusing voters even more.
“The sponsor of the bill feels this would give Michigan more influence. To the contrary, this change would have little or no effect,” said Thomas Wieder, of Ann Arbor. “Presidential campaigns look to gain the biggest amount of electoral votes for the smallest amount of resources. Why build a state presidential campaign organization in a state of nearly 10 million people just to pick up a handful of electoral votes when you can go to a smaller winner-take-all state.”
State Rep. Pete Lund, R-Shelby Township, introduced the bill that would change how the votes are allocated from a winner-take-all system to one in which the winner and runner-up would each get some of the votes.