Plan would award electoral votes by congressional district

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State Rep. Beau LaFave of Iron Mountain has introduced a plan to end Michigan’s approach to allocating electoral votes for presidential elections.

He says apportioning electoral votes based on congressional district will ensure that rural areas of the state – especially the Upper Peninsula and northern Michigan – can no longer be ignored by presidential candidates.

“Anyone seeking the job of leader of the free world should have to earn votes from every area of our state,” LaFave said. “The current system unfairly encourages presidential campaigns to focus solely on population centers like Detroit and Grand Rapids. People can completely ignore the U.P. and still win all of Michigan’s electoral votes.”

Each political party would choose candidates for presidential electors during its state convention, just like under current law. One presidential elector would be chosen from each congressional district, and two electors at large.

Under LaFave’s plan, the presidential elector would then be selected from the political party with the greatest number of votes for president in that congressional district. The at-large electors will be chosen from the political party with the presidential candidate that received the greatest number of total votes in Michigan.

This method has been used in Nebraska since 1991 and in Maine since 1972.

“Making this change would encourage candidates to campaign throughout our entire state, which will in turn encourage more people to get involved and improve voter turnout,” LaFave said.

House Bill 4484 has been referred to the House Elections and Ethics Committee for consideration.

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