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Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant addresses the state's business leaders on Mississippi's economic growth during the Mississippi Economic Council's annual 'Hobnob Mississippi,' in Jackson, Miss., Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2016. A number of statewide elected officials participated with many of the state's business leaders in discussions of politics, economy and education. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

Mississippi gov: Electoral college unfair to small states

Mississippi Republican Gov. Phil Bryant says he thinks it’s wrong that a presidential candidate could be elected by focusing on larger “liberal” states and ignoring smaller ones.

Bryant — who has a master’s degree in political science and used to teach American government classes at Mississippi College — said the electoral college is set up to “favor the states like New York, California, others in the population areas” and he thinks that allows candidates to overlook states such as Mississippi, which awards six electoral votes. A winning candidate needs at least 270 electoral votes, a majority of the 538 available. Electoral votes are distributed by population.

Bryant spoke to reporters Wednesday after appearing at Hobnob, a casual gathering of more than 1,000 business people hosted by the Mississippi Economic Council, the state chamber of commerce.

Bryant has been campaigning for Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, who has been speculating that the Nov. 8 election could be “rigged,” without offering evidence. The second-term governor was a guest Monday on the Paul Gallo radio show on Supertalk Mississippi, and he agreed when Gallo said: “The election is rigged.”

“The election is rigged,” Bryant said on the radio. “I mean, any Republican has to have an overwhelming majority of the vote. And of course as it has been designed, as we look at the states where the more liberal voting populations may be in the cities, in New York and California and some of the other areas — all you have to do is win those particularly larger states and you can forget about flyover country.”

Bryant was asked Wednesday to explain what he had said on the radio. He disagreed that he had said the election is rigged.

“I’m not sure those are the proper terms, so let’s say what I said,” Bryant said. “I said, I said it has been designed for some time, if you looked at the electoral college, to favor the states like New York, California, others in the population areas. So, if you can capture those states, more than likely you can capture the presidency. And oftentimes, we’re referred to just as flyover country. I don’t think that’s proper.”

Mississippi’s top elections official, Republican Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann, said during Hobnob that the state’s election system is run properly.

“Mississippi’s election is not going to be rigged,” Hosemann said.


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One comment

  1. A survey of Mississippi voters showed 74% overall support for a national popular vote for President.

    By 2020, the National Popular Vote bill could guarantee the presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in the country, by changing state winner-take-all laws (not mentioned in the U.S. Constitution, but later enacted by 48 states), without changing anything in the Constitution, using the built-in method that the Constitution provides for states to make changes.

    Every vote, everywhere, for every candidate, would be politically relevant and equal in every presidential election.
    No more distorting and divisive red and blue state maps of predictable outcomes.
    No more handful of ‘battleground’ states (where the two major political parties happen to have similar levels of support among voters) where voters and policies are more important than those of the voters in 38+ predictable states, like Mississippi, that have just been ‘spectators’ and ignored after the conventions.

    The bill would take effect when enacted by states with a majority of the electoral votes—270 of 538. All of the presidential electors from the enacting states will be supporters of the presidential candidate receiving the most popular votes in all 50 states (and DC)—thereby guaranteeing that candidate with an Electoral College majority.

    The bill was approved this year by a unanimous bipartisan House committee vote in both Georgia (16 electoral votes) and Missouri (10).
    The bill has passed 34 state legislative chambers in 23 rural, small, medium, large, red, blue, and purple states with 261 electoral votes.
    The bill has been enacted by 11 small, medium, and large jurisdictions with 165 electoral votes – 61% of the 270 necessary to go into effect.


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