Two Michigan electors share views on the electoral college

Posted at 5:54 PM, Nov 11, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-11 18:30:46-05

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — The unrest and confusion of many after the presidential election raises questions about the electoral college, with more calls to abolish it.

Hillary Clinton is the fifth presidential candidate to win the popular vote but lose the election. According to the New York Times, Clinton is projected to win by more than two million votes and by more than 1.5 percent. This begs the question, why do the 128 million who voted Tuesday not technically elect the president?

“The most important way you can make a difference is to vote," said Hank Fuhs, Michigan Republican Party secretary and elector. "I don’t care how you vote, what I do care about is that you vote.”

Fuhs will cast his vote Dec. 19 in Lansing alongside 16 Michigan electors chosen by the state's republican party at the state convention that took place Aug. 27.

“I fully support a change, not just because of the outcome of this election, to a national popular vote, but it doesn’t make sense anymore," said Mark Schauer, 2014 Michigan governor candidate and elector.

Schauer was chosen by the Michigan Democratic Party at the state convention to be an elector to represent the state's electoral college this year. He would have voted alongside 16 democratic electors had the majority of Michigan voters chose Clinton, following the state's track record since 1988.

“It brings into focus the fact that she won the national popular vote, that it’s a system that’s really no longer relevant," said Schauer.

Schauer agrees with the viewpoint of many Americans signing more than six petitions nationwide calling to end the electoral college. Written into the United States Constitution in 1787, he calls is antiquated and no longer relevant.

For instance, the system as is allows presidential candidates to take votes in deep red or blue states for granted and typically not campaign on their soil. The electoral college was also ratified 229 years ago on much different terms historically.

“The electoral college is not relevant anymore," said Schauer. "It’s interesting if you look at the history, it was built around a group of elites that didn’t think the rank and file citizens of the this country would have the wisdom to select our president.”

Fuhs disagrees and believes the electoral college makes sense and is a fair determination of an election.

“It’s a fair way, and for [...] years it’s been really very effective," said Fuhs. "Right or wrong you know people get excited, but it’s a great country.”

Fuhs and Schauer agree that it is a privilege and an honor to be selected as an elector. They also both believe it is unlikely an elector will go rogue this election, saying it is their moral obligation to vote for the candidate the state did.

“It’s pretty black and white," said Fuhs. "So am I going to tell 750,000 people [of the congressional district], 'well, I think my judgment is better?' No, come on.”