Advance Notice: Briefs

Michigan Republican State Central Committee opposes national popular vote initiative 

By: - December 6, 2021 11:23 am

The Michigan Republican Party headquarters in Lansing that Karamo is not using | Susan J. Demas

The Republican State Central Committee voted to oppose an initiative that would implement the National Popular Vote (NPV) amendment launched by former Michigan Republican Party Chair Saul Anuzis and former Michigan Democratic Party Chair Mark Brewer. 

If the “Yes on National Popular Vote” initiative were passed, the amendment would mean the state supports the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact (NPV), which with 270 electoral votes in support of it would mean that the presidential candidate with the most popular votes in each state and the District of Columbia would win the presidency. So far, 15 states in addition to the District of Columbia have joined the NPV effort. 

Michigan Republican Party Chair Ron Weiser said in a press release that the initiative is a “power-grab from the left” and expressed his support for the State Central Committee voting to oppose it. He said the initiative is a “threat to our democracy not just here in Michigan, but across America.” 

“Michigan’s votes for president should be determined by Michigan voters, not west coast liberals who want to defund the police, raise taxes and bow down to environmental extremists,” Weiser said. “If this petition is approved, Michigan’s electoral votes will not matter. It is that simple.”

Anuzis told the Advance that he believes the Republican State Central Committee “probably acted prematurely” in voting to oppose the initiative and predicted prominent Republicans will come in support of the initiative in the next year.

“I think unfortunately, there’s a lot of misinformation with regards to what the initiative is and does,” Anuzis said. “And therefore I think that once we have a chance to talk to both Republican and Democratic voters across the state, I’m fairly confident that most people think whoever gets the most votes should win and that every vote in every state, including Michigan, should count.”

In October, 17 out of 20 state Republican senators and 40 out of 57 Republican state House members signed a letter opposing the initiative campaign. 

In mid-November, the Board of State Canvassers approved the language of the petition, “Yes on National Popular Vote.” To qualify the initiative for the 2022 ballot, the group is in the process of collecting 340,047 voter signatures within a 180-day period.

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Julia Forrest
Julia Forrest

Julia Forrest is a contributor to the Michigan Advance. She has been covering Michigan and national politics for two years at the Michigan Daily and OpenSecrets. She studies public policy at the University of Michigan.