The public is too busy watching sports events and reality TV shows to pay any attention to how the government of the majority is being taken over by a minority of the people.
In the most recent election, roughly 20% of the registered voters selected the representatives of the people. The vast majority of voters just didn’t bother to vote in spite of the most incredible effort ever to encourage, motivate, badger, cajole, harass and even shame them into action.
The State Senate has been dominated by Republicans for many years because ALL of our state senators are elected in Gubernatorial Election years when voter turnout is even lower than in Presidential Election years.
Republicans count on the low voter turnout to swing the election in their favor because their supporters respond well to the messages of fear and distrust that they broadcast. Democratic supporters just aren’t motivated to vote without a charismatic national candidate.
But enough of that … how is it that the Republicans plan to cement their hold on government?
Several bills have been introduced that would do the following:
- Move the election of county officials (the clerk, treasurer, register of deeds, prosecuting attorney, sheriff, drain commissioner and surveyor) to Gubernatorial Election years. [See HB 5941 (2014) http://legislature.mi.gov/doc.aspx?2014-HB-5941 and HB 5953 (2014) http://legislature.mi.gov/doc.aspx?2014-HB-5953]
- End primary elections for state officials (the governor, state representative and state senator) and call for their nomination at state conventions. [See HB 5955 (2014) http://legislature.mi.gov/doc.aspx?2014-HB-5955]
- Close primaries and require voters to declare their party affiliation as a condition of participation. [See HB 5956 (2014) http://legislature.mi.gov/doc.aspx?2014-HB-5956]
- Allocate Electoral College votes for president by congressional district. [See HB 5974 (2014) http://legislature.mi.gov/doc.aspx?2014-HB-5974]