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Governor Not Big Fan Of Proposed Electoral College Changes

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Snyder says Electoral College overhaul should wait

Governor Rick Snyder says he's not on board with changing how Michigan divvies up presidential electors. A bill that was just rolled out would change Michigan from a winner-take-all state to one that divides the votes between the Democratic and Republican candidates.
The bill's Republican sponsor says making Michigan more competitive will mean more attention from presidential candidates.

"So we need to do something to put us on the map, and why should they go to Ohio? Why should they go to Iowa and Florida and completely skip Michigan?," said state Rep. Pete Lund (R-Shelby Twp.) "This is something to remedy that."

An earlier notion to award electoral votes by congressional district was scrapped. Instead, Lund's bill would automatically award the half the delegates plus one to the winner (if the winner gets more than 50 percent of the vote), and divvy the rest based on a mathematical formula. Michigan currently has 16 electoral votes. It takes 270 votes to win the presidency.  

Democrats say Republicans want to change the rules to mitigate the serial drubbings the Michigan GOP's endured in the last six presidential elections.

 But Snyder, a Republican, also says now's not the time and it's a question that should wait until later.

"The theory is something that could have merit, but not in the time frame we're talking," he said. "I view it as something that if you want to talk out 2022, or later, then it might have more merit."

Snyder would no longer be in office by then.  

The governor did not explicitly say that he would veto the bill if the Republican-controlled Legislature sent it to his desk. The governor did say he'd prefer the Legislature focus on money for roads in the few weeks left in the "lame duck" session.

Rick Pluta is the managing editor for the Michigan Public Radio Network.