Michigan would award its 15 electoral votes to the presidential candidate who wins the national popular vote if enough other states also join the agreement under a new ballot initiative announced this week by former leaders in both the Democratic and Republican parties. Mark Brewer, who is former chairman of the Michigan Democratic Party, and Saul Anuzis, who is former chairman of the Michigan Republican Party, announced the development at a news conference Monday. If enough states sign onto the pact, the U.S. would keep the electoral college system, but the presidential candidate who wins the nationwide popular vote would be guaranteed the White House, according to Brewer. \u201cWe are excited to launch our effort to bring this important proposal to let voters, not politicians, determine if Michigan moves our country toward a national popular vote for president,\u201d he said in a press release. The national popular vote would only take effect if the participating states represent the 270 electoral votes needed to win the presidency. So far, national popular vote legislation has been enacted by 15 states and the District of Columbia, adding up to 195 electoral votes, according to a press release. Additionally, the ballot initiative makes sure that presidential candidates have to campaign across the country, in every state, because their goal would be to get as many votes, from everywhere, as they can because that\u2019s the only way they\u2019re going to win, according to Brewer. The effort has been a long time coming. Anuzis says he got involved and first supported the effort in 2008. \u201cYou could be a battleground state on one day and the very next day not be a battleground state,\u201d Anuzis said. \u201cThat has a similar effect to both Republicans and Democrats, depending on who\u2019s winning and losing. And, what happens under this proposal is: that would never happen. If we had a national popular vote, you could not afford to walk away from 10 million people in Michigan, and have a 5%, 2% or even 1% drop in presidential election turnouts, whether you\u2019re Republican or Democrat.\u201d \u201cThe other unique thing that this does is that you know, under the winner take all rule, if we win, the Republicans, every vote over 50% plus one becomes irrelevant, and you\u2019re just trying to win the election,\u201d he continued. \u201cAnd the Democrats, if they were to lose at 49% of vote, (would) completely become irrelevant because they don\u2019t count under the winner take all rule. Under a national popular vote interstate compact, Michigan voters, whether they\u2019re Republican, Democratic or Independent, will have a voice every single time. That\u2019s really the goal here.\u201d Proponents say awarding the presidency to the candidate with the most votes only makes sense, \u201cto fix the current broken presidential election system that causes division, mistrust and bad feelings all around,\u201d according to Brewer. \u201cWhat happens today is we are basically distorting public policy and we\u2019re distorting politics, as presidential candidates pander to the swing voters at any given election and ignore, often times, 40 to 42 to 45 states,\u201d Anuzis said. \u201cAnd, I\u2019m sure that\u2019s not what the founders intended. I think this is a reform that would actually fix this.\u201d \u201cI think Republicans and Democrats will have an even chance or a fair chance of winning the national popular vote, when every voter in every state is politically relevant every time, and gets to participate every time in the presidential elections,\u201d he continued. For example, it would make it worthwhile for Democrats to campaign in states they are unlikely to win, such as Mississippi, and for Republicans to campaign in places they stand little chance, such as California. A petition will be available for Michiganders to sign soon. The language on the petition is being finalized tomorrow, Sept. 28. Then, the Board of State Canvassers has 30 days to approve the petition. Brewer is hoping the petition will be cleared faster than the 30-day deadline. The committee, \u201cYes on National Popular Vote\u201d needs 340,047 Michigan voters to sign this initiative petition, \u201cto let them, not the politicians in Lansing, decide whether it\u2019s important enough to affect the support reform,\u201d Anuzis said. The proposal would then be submitted to the Michigan Legislature. If lawmakers decline to pass the measure, it would go to voters in a general election, Detroit Free Press reported. \u201cThe candidate with the most votes doesn\u2019t always win the election,\u201d Brewer said. \u201cUnder the current system, five of our 46 presidents have come into office without winning the national popular vote. So, our current system also means that much smaller states, like Wyoming, have more than three times as much voting power as we do here in Michigan. And, that\u2019s wrong and again violates the important principle of one person, one vote.\u201d The cost of the ballot drive is yet to be determined, according to both Anuzis and Brewer, as the process is just getting started.