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Opinion | Pass the National Popular Vote in Michigan to safeguard democracy

For more than 100 years, we at the League of Women Voters of Michigan have worked to advance a democracy where every person has the desire, right and knowledge to participate and have their voice be heard.

That’s why we support legislation that would make Michigan a part of the National Popular Vote Compact.

Denise Hartsough, Paula Bowman headshots
Denise Hartsough and Paula Bowman are co-presidents of the League of Women Voters of Michigan.

The National Popular Vote Compact would ensure every voter, in every state, would have an equal vote in every presidential election. The presidential candidate who wins the most votes nationwide should win the presidency because it’s essential to creating a representative government.

The National Popular Vote has been adopted in 16 states and the District of Columbia, and this year, the state of Minnesota passed legislation to join the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact with bipartisan support.

The League of Women Voters of Michigan urges our elected officials in Lansing to pass House Bills 4156 and 4440. Doing so will give the Compact 220 of the 270 electoral college votes needed to implement the National Popular Vote.

The League encourages informed and active participation in government and works to make sure every eligible Michigan voter’s voice is heard. National Popular Vote is a fundamental matter of fairness and a safeguard for our democracy.

Under our current system, the candidate who lost the national popular vote has become president in two of the last six elections. It almost happened again in 2004 and 2020, when a small number of votes could have reversed the result of the election and denied millions of voters across our country their voice.

Our current system also means that presidential candidates have no reason to pay attention to the issues of concern for voters in states where the outcome is a foregone conclusion. That’s wrong because every vote should matter equally.

We know that National Popular Vote has a history of bipartisan support in Michigan and other states. Michigan voters across our political spectrum, along with other key pro-democracy groups, support National Popular Vote as a safeguard for our democracy.

According to a new Pew Research Center Survey, 65 percent of Americans say the winner of the popular vote nationwide should win the presidency.

We urge our lawmakers to support the National Popular Vote by passing House Bills 4156 and 4440 during the fall legislative session so every voter can have their voice heard and their vote matter.

“One person, one vote” should apply to our presidential elections and Michigan can help make that happen.

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