Michigan’s Republican Party approved a resolution Saturday that would change the way the states award electoral votes from the winner-take-all system that has existed since the state’s admission to the Union.
A total of 14 votes would be awarded to the candidate with the most votes in each congressional district and two would go to the overall winner of the state’s popular vote.
Under this scheme, Mitt Romney would likely have won 10 of the state’s electoral votes to President Obama’s six — despite the fact that Obama carried the state by nearly 10 percent.
The resolution was introduced by Rep. Pete Lund (R), who offered electoral college reform legislation in 2011 that would have given Romney the state, but which state Republicans rejected because they assumed the GOP nominee, a Michigan native and son of a former governor, would win the state.
Lund will likely reintroduce the bill in 2013. Republicans have majorities in both state houses and Republican governor Rick Snyder is supportive of the plan, but questions its timing.
“The right way is to talk about it in a bipartisan way … just prior to a census,” Snyder said.
Snyder’s approval rating has declined rapidly since he signed anti-union legislation during last year’s lame-duck session. He’s since tried to move back to the center by saying he’d like the state to accept Medicaid expansion.
Michigan’s shift of 10 electoral votes to Romney would not have swung the 2012 election for Romney. However, if all the states that have suggested changing the way they award their electors — Michigan, Virginia, Ohio, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania — had done so, Romney would likely be in the White House now, which is why Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus endorsed the scheme.
The idea has been rejected by a few top Republicans — like Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Virginia governor Bob McDonnell (R-VA) — and thus faded from the agendas in Virginia, Ohio and Wisconsin.
But in Pennsylvania — the state where voter ID was supposed to give the election to Romney — the effort continues.
A new bill that would rig the state’s electoral votes has been introduced by 13 Republican state senators. That support represents half the total votes the bill would need to pass the Senate. The bill could be on the desk of Governor Tom Corbett — who would sign it — this week.
Pennsylvania, like Michigan, has voted Democratic in every presidential election since 1992.
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