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Steve Bieda introduces alternative to GOP election rigging scheme

by: Eric B.

Wed Apr 03, 2013 at 12:00:00 PM EDT


Steve Bieda is one of Michigan Liberal's (well, Eric B.'s) favorite elected officials, not just because he says and does progressive things, but because he pretty consistently says and does smart things rather than loud things. For instance, this:

With the help of Michigan voters, a Macomb County lawmaker is hoping to block a controversial plan that would overhaul the way that Michigan helps elect a president.

Democratic state Sen. Steve Bieda of Warren seeks to preserve the status quo, which awards Michigan’s 16 Electoral College votes on a winner-take-all basis to the candidate who wins the state’s popular vote.

Again, changing how our electoral votes are divided is one of the stupidest, most undemocratic ideas to surface in a legislative body that doesn't appear to have a whole lot of respect for democratic processes. Not only could it mean that the minority wins, but after voters wind up changing how legislative districts are redrawn (I'm pretty confident that anything with the words "non-partisan" attached to it will pick up 5-10 percent of the vote simply due to voter fatigue with elected state government), it'll wind up not giving anyone an advantage. It's undemocratic, short-sighted and an idea that should go bye-bye.

Thankfully, it also means that Peter Lund's delusions of Senate grandeur will also never come to fruition.

Eric B. :: Steve Bieda introduces alternative to GOP election rigging scheme
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73% of Michigan Voters Support a National Popular Vote (4.00 / 1)
Republican legislators who want to split state electoral votes in states that have recently voted Democratic in presidential elections, do not want to split electoral votes in states that recently voted Republican in presidential elections.

Obvious partisan machinations like these should add support for the National Popular Vote movement. If the party in control in each state is tempted every 2, 4, or 10 years (post-census) to consider rewriting election laws and redistrict with an eye to the likely politically beneficial effects for their party in the next presidential election, then the National Popular Vote system, in which all voters across the country are guaranteed to be politically relevant and treated equally, is needed now more than ever.

A survey of Michigan voters showed 73% overall support for a national popular vote for President.
Support was 73% among independents, 78% among Democrats, and 68% among Republicans.
By age, support was 77% among 18-29 year olds, 67% among 30-45 year olds, 74% among 46-65 year olds, and 75% for those older than 65.
By gender, support was 86% among women and 59% among men.

The National Popular Vote bill would guarantee the Presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states (and DC).

Every vote, everywhere, would be politically relevant and equal in presidential elections. No more distorting and divisive red and blue state maps. There would no longer be a handful of 'battleground' states where voters and policies are more important than those of the voters in 80% of the states, like Michigan, that now are just 'spectators' and ignored after the conventions.

When the bill is enacted by states with a majority of the electoral votes- enough electoral votes to elect a President (270 of 538), all the electoral votes from the enacting states would be awarded to the presidential candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states and DC.

The presidential election system that we have today was not designed, anticipated, or favored by the Founding Fathers but, instead, is the product of decades of evolutionary change precipitated by the emergence of political parties and enactment by 48 states of winner-take-all laws, not mentioned, much less endorsed, in the Constitution.

The bill uses the power given to each state by the Founding Fathers in the Constitution to change how they award their electoral votes for President. Historically, virtually all of the major changes in the method of electing the President, including ending the requirement that only men who owned substantial property could vote and 48 current state-by-state winner-take-all laws, have come about by state legislative action.

In Gallup polls since 1944, only about 20% of the public has supported the current system of awarding all of a state's electoral votes to the presidential candidate who receives the most votes in each separate state (with about 70% opposed and about 10% undecided). Support for a national popular vote is strong among Republicans, Democrats, and Independent voters, as well as every demographic group in virtually every state surveyed in recent polls in recent closely divided Battleground states: CO - 68%, FL - 78%, IA 75%, MI - 73%, MO - 70%, NH - 69%, NV - 72%, NM- 76%, NC - 74%, OH - 70%, PA - 78%, VA - 74%, and WI - 71%; in Small states (3 to 5 electoral votes): AK - 70%, DC - 76%, DE - 75%, ID - 77%, ME - 77%, MT - 72%, NE 74%, NH - 69%, NV - 72%, NM - 76%, OK - 81%, RI - 74%, SD - 71%, UT - 70%, VT - 75%, WV - 81%, and WY - 69%; in Southern and Border states: AR - 80%, KY- 80%, MS - 77%, MO - 70%, NC - 74%, OK - 81%, SC - 71%, TN - 83%, VA - 74%, and WV - 81%; and in other states polled: AZ - 67%, CA - 70%, CT - 74%, MA - 73%, MN - 75%, NY - 79%, OR - 76%, and WA - 77%. Americans believe that the candidate who receives the most votes should win.

In 2008, The Michigan House of Representatives today passed the National Popular Vote bill by a 65-36 margin. The bill has passed 31 state legislative chambers in 21 states with 243 electoral votes. The bill has been enacted by 9 jurisdictions with 132 electoral votes - 49% of the 270 necessary to go into effect.

NationalPopularVote
Follow National Popular Vote on Facebook via NationalPopularVoteInc


Electoral College Proposal (4.00 / 3)
If the proposed Rep Lund/SOS Johnson Supported Plan had been in place last year, President Barack Obama would have won Michigan by nearly 450,000 votes, but would not have won a majority of the state's Electoral College votes.

While the GOP may be tired of Michigan going for the Democratic presidential nominee, as it has in the last six election cycles, changing the rules out of frustration is unfair and wrong. This plan changes the rules because the GOP cannot win elections legitimately and therefore the only way they can win is to rig the election.  So it will no longer be about the best candidate, best ideas and best campaign.  It will be about rigging an election in favor of one party.


Voter supression (4.00 / 1)
is too cumbersome and unreliable and just hasn't worked for them, so they have moved on to leveraging their Congressional gerrymander and applying it to the presidential election. It makes sense, if all you care about is winning.  

And it fits another idea the right wing of the GOP supports (0.00 / 0)
Repeal of the 17th Amendment, thus ending the direct election of senators and returning that power to the state legislatures.  If Michigan's legislature resumes electing senators, Debbie Stabenow would have been replaced by a Republican, and very likely Levin would be replaced by Rogers.  Now add Wisconsin, Ohio, Indiana, Pennsylvania, North Dakota, and Montana to Michigan, and there would be an eight-vote swing from Democratic control to Republican control in the U.S. Senate.

Greetings from Detroit, Ground Zero of the post-industrial future!

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