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Michigan House considers unconstitutional NPV bill
Trent England • Jun 06, 2023

The state’s Constitution is clear: to vote for Michigan’s presidential electors, a person must be a state resident. Yet today, the House Elections Committee is slated to consider legislation to allow residents of other states to vote for Michigan’s presidential electors.

House Bill 4156 would join the state to the so-called National Popular Vote interstate compact. It is not national, but rather a group of states attempting to manipulate the Electoral College. Nor does it create a popular vote for president. Instead, each state in the compact would, on its own, try to calculate the national vote totals to choose their state’s presidential electors.

For the Michigan Legislature to join the NPV compact and allow other states’ residents to vote for Michigan’s presidential electors would require a state constitutional amendment. Otherwise, the Legislature is violating the state Constitution’s protection of state voters. A state constitution always prevails in conflict with a state statute.

It is especially dangerous for states to join a compact like NPV on shaky legal ground. The compact already has many procedural and legal flaws, but the issue in Michigan is particularly clear and could lead to uncertainty for political parties and presidential campaigns as to the rules for future presidential elections.