A Special Kind of Stupid: @Todd_Courser @GaryGlennUS @CindyGamrat and the Obtuse Electoral Vote-Rigging Bill

Sunday , 8, March 2015 4 Comments

Back in November Pete Lund came up with a really bad idea. Let’s split the electoral votes Michigan has in the presidential election between the winner and runner up. That way, the state becomes even more irrelevant to candidates who need to win the most electoral votes to make it to the 270 finish line and become the next President of the United States.

Michigan has 16 electoral votes, and despite losing votes due to shrinking population the state is still an important “swing state” in the presidential election. This means presidential candidates will come to Michigan and campaign more than other states where there are fewer electoral votes. HB 4310 if it were to become law would cause the opposite to happen. What’s the point of coming to Michigan to campaign when the most electoral votes you are guaranteed to win out of 16 is 11? This means Michigan will have the electoral power of a state like Oregon, which has 2 million registered voters. Michigan as 7.3 million registered voters. The Republicans in Michigan want to disenfranchise 5 million Michigan voters.

Why would tea party legislators want to do this? Because making millions of votes in Michigan not count means their garbage tea party candidate has a better chance of winning the state, or at least the majority of electoral votes in the state. They really believe this will help Michigan look better in the election. They’re wrong.

Here is what was said about this stupid idea in November on Up North Progressive:

House Bill 5974 4310 is not about making Michigan more enticing in a national election. The purpose of this stupid idea is to figure out a way to make sure a Republican wins more electoral votes in Michigan even if the Democratic candidate wins more popular votes. The Nerd said he would veto this bill if it makes it to the governor’s desk, but you can’t trust Snyder with anything he says. He likes lying to the people of Michigan too much when it suits him.

And the same holds true three months later. The Republican Party has nothing to offer the American people except a terrible ideology that embraces racism, hatred of women, unfair labor practices that put more people in poverty, and increased isolation in a world that grows more globally aware every day. Real election reform that fights the fraud Cindy Gamrat, Todd Courser and Gary Glenn want includes no-reason absentee voting, legislation to end gerrymandering of districts (and makes terrible bills like HB 4310 more desirable to the GOP), and possibly even state-wide vote by mail, which would ensure the most voter participation and render Republican election fraud obsolete. It takes a special kind of stupid to dredge up a really stupid idea like HB 4310, but consider the source.

4 thoughts on “ : A Special Kind of Stupid: @Todd_Courser @GaryGlennUS @CindyGamrat and the Obtuse Electoral Vote-Rigging Bill”
  • John says:

    It’s funny how these things come full circle. When Bush won out over Gore, there were quite a few Democrats in Congress and in the States who were pushing for proportional vote in the electoral college. If just a few states had split electors, Gore would have won that election. Republicans fought it. Now that the shoe is on the other foot, however …

    • Up North Progressive says:

      Michigan Democrats tried to pass a bill like this in 2001. Gore did win the popular vote in Florida, but the Supreme Court stepped in and stopped the recount. Splitting electoral votes would have hurt Gore more, not helped him. It’s a bad idea, and needs to go the way all bad ideas should go – away.

  • otto says:

    HB 4310 would not award Michigan’s electoral votes proportionally. HB 4310 proposes that each of the state’s 14 Congressional districts gets one electoral vote — with the two remaining votes going to the statewide winner.

    Currently, nine of those 14 districts lean Republican.

    “In 2012, for instance, when Obama garnered nearly a half million more votes in Michigan than Romney, the Republican nominee still managed to carry nine of the state’s 14 congressional districts. If the by-district scheme had been in place for that election, Romney would have collected nine of Michigan’s 16 electoral votes — not enough to change the national result, but enough to make Michigan a net win for Romney, notwithstanding his decisive drubbing in the statewide election.” – Brian Dickerson, Detroit Free Press, Jan. 12, 2014

    There is a concerted effort by some Republican legislators to split state electoral votes in states that have recently voted Democratic in presidential elections.
    While those same Republican legislators do not want to split electoral votes in states that recently voted Republican in presidential elections.

    Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus made the goal of the scheme clear when he endorsed it last year, saying, “I think it’s something that a lot of states that have been consistently blue that are fully controlled red ought to be looking at.”

    Current attempts by some GOP legislators to affect the 2016 presidential election by dividing the electoral college votes of Michigan (and only some other Republican controlled states that have recently voted Democratic in presidential elections) ” . . . can initially seem reasonable, even to progressives, many of whom are wary of the electoral college system. But this isn’t a good-government plan to change the way our presidential elections are conducted. It’s a targeted plot to get more electoral votes for Republicans, even when they’re losing the popular vote. It’s no coincidence that these plans have often been quietly introduced in lame duck sessions, when voters are paying less attention. These measures, if allowed to be passed quickly in a few states with little debate and attention, could have national implications and change American political history.”
    – Michael B. Keegan, PFAW

    The district approach would not provide incentive for presidential candidates to poll, visit, advertise, and organize in a particular state or focus the candidates’ attention to issues of concern to the state. With the 48 state-by-state winner-take-all laws (whether applied to either districts or states), candidates have no reason to poll, visit, advertise, and organize in districts or states where they are comfortably ahead or hopelessly behind. Nationwide, there are now only 35 “battleground” districts that were competitive in the 2012 presidential election. With the present deplorable 48 state-level winner-take-all system, 80% of the states (including California and Texas) are ignored in presidential elections; however, 92% of the nation’s congressional districts would be ignored if a district-level winner-take-all system were used nationally.

    In Maine, where they award electoral votes by congressional district, the closely divided 2nd congressional district received campaign events in 2008 (whereas Maine’s 1st reliably Democratic district was ignored).
    In 2012, the whole state was ignored.
    77% of Maine voters support a national popular vote for President

    In Nebraska, which also uses the district method, the 2008 presidential campaigns did not pay the slightest attention to the people of Nebraska’s reliably Republican 1st and 3rd congressional districts because it was a foregone conclusion that McCain would win the most popular votes in both of those districts. The issues relevant to voters of the 2nd district (the Omaha area) mattered, while the (very different) issues relevant to the remaining (mostly rural) 2/3rds of the state were irrelevant.

    After Obama won 1 congressional district in Nebraska in 2008, the leadership committee of the Nebraska Republican Party promptly adopted a resolution requiring all GOP elected officials to favor overturning their district method for awarding electoral votes or lose the party’s support.

    In 2012, the whole state of Nebraska was ignored.
    74% of Nebraska voters support a national popular vote for President

    Nebraska Republicans are currently proposing changing to state winner-take-all method.

    Dividing more states’ electoral votes by congressional district winners would magnify the worst features of the Electoral College system.

    If the district approach were used nationally, it would be less fair and less accurately reflect the will of the people than the current system. In 2004, Bush won 50.7% of the popular vote, but 59% of the districts. Although Bush lost the national popular vote in 2000, he won 55% of the country’s congressional districts. In 2012, the Democratic candidate would have needed to win the national popular vote by more than 7 percentage points in order to win the barest majority of congressional districts. In 2014, Democrats would have needed to win the national popular vote by a margin of about nine percentage points in order to win a majority of districts.

    Awarding electoral votes by congressional district could result in no candidate winning the needed majority of electoral votes. That would throw the process into Congress to decide the election, regardless of the popular vote in any state or throughout the country.

    Because there are generally more close votes on district levels than states as whole, district elections increase the opportunity for error. The larger the voting base, the less opportunity there is for an especially close vote.

    Also, a second-place candidate could still win the White House without winning the national popular vote.

    A national popular vote is the way to make every person’s vote equal and matter to their candidate because it guarantees that the candidate who gets the most votes in all 50 states and DC becomes President.

  • otto says:

    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.

    On December 11, 2008, The Michigan House of Representatives passed the National Popular Vote bill by a 65-36 margin

    The National Popular Vote bill (SB 88) would guarantee the majority of Electoral College votes, and thus the presidency, to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in the country, by replacing state winner-take-all laws for awarding electoral votes.

    Every vote, everywhere, would be politically relevant and equal in presidential elections. No more distorting and divisive red and blue state maps of pre-determined outcomes. 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.

    The bill would take effect when enacted by states with a majority of Electoral College votes—that is, enough to elect a President (270 of 538). The candidate receiving the most popular votes from all 50 states (and DC) would get all the 270+ electoral votes of the enacting states.

    The presidential election system, using the 48 state winner-take-all method or district winner method of awarding electoral votes, that we have today was not designed, anticipated, or favored by the Founders. It is the product of decades of 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 Founders in the Constitution to change how they award their electoral votes for President. States can, and have, changed their method of awarding electoral votes over the years. Historically, 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 every state surveyed recently. In the 39 states surveyed, overall support has been in the 67-83% range or higher. – in recent or past closely divided battleground states, in rural states, in small states, in Southern and border states, in big states, and in other states polled.
    Americans believe that the candidate who receives the most votes should win.

    The National Popular Vote bill has passed 33 state legislative chambers in 22 rural, small, medium, large, Democratic, Republican and purple states with 250 electoral votes, including one house in Arkansas (6), Maine (4), Michigan (16), Nevada (6), New Mexico (5), North Carolina (15), and Oklahoma (7), and both houses in Colorado (9). The bill has been enacted by 11 jurisdictions with 165 electoral votes – 61% of the 270 necessary to go into effect.


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