Former rivals partnering on ballot proposal to add Michigan to popular vote compact

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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Two longtime Michigan political rivals are teaming up to try to change the way the president of the United States is chosen so that the winner of the popular vote sits in the Oval Office.

Mark Brewer, who was for the better part of two decades the head of Michigan’s Democratic Party, and Saul Anuzis, a former Michigan Republican Party chair, will work on a ballot initiative forward to make Michigan part of the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact.

The people behind that project are working to get enough states signed on to the compact to represent at least 270 electoral votes, or enough to elect a president. If that marker is reached, all of the states in the compact would give their electoral votes to the candidate who won the popular vote among all of the compact states, regardless of how an individual state voted.

“We’re going to have on national winner based on all the votes cast around the country. No more fights over Electoral College delegates and who they are and all those kinds of things. There’s no need for that. You have one overall national winner and that’s what this will achieve,” Brewer said.

“As you’re probably aware, we’ve passed 50 states plus the District of Columbia as of today,” Anuzis, who has been working on the compact for a decade, added Monday. “So as Mark mentioned earlier in the conversation, this takes affect when enough states that have 270 electoral votes or more enter into the compact by July of a given election year. So today there’s states with 195 electoral that are part of this compact and nothing has changed.”

Brewer and Anuzis contend the compact would make every state more relevant. On its website, the group claims that 12 states, including Michigan, saw 96% of the campaign events in  2020.

The ballot proposal could be on up for a vote in Michigan next year. The group’s website suggests it would like to have a compact representing 270 electoral votes by 2024.

In a handful of cases over the years, the electoral vote gave the presidency to the person that did not have the most popular votes.

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