The Electoral College, a system designed to grant states power to elect presidential candidates based on their respective populations, has come under fire in the past week when Clinton clearly won the popular vote, but Trump is being elected.
When the same thing happened to Al Gore, Democrats called for the dismantling of the Electoral College. And now there’s an even bigger push to tear the institution down, and it is getting official support in the Senate.
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Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) is introducing legislation Tuesday designed to do away with the Electoral College.
“In my lifetime, I have seen two elections where the winner of the general election did not win the popular vote,” Boxer wrote in a statement. “In 2012, Donald Trump tweeted, ‘The electoral college is a disaster for a democracy.’ I couldn’t agree more. One person, one vote!”
If we’d been operating on the one-person, one-vote model, critics argue, more voters would have turned out in states where the decision was all-but guaranteed (like California, or Arkansas).
Clinton, Boxer added, is “on track to have received more votes than any other presidential candidate in history except Barack Obama. The Electoral College is an outdated, undemocratic system that does not reflect our modern society, and it needs to change immediately,” she said.
Clinton leads Trump by nearly a million votes, and it could be even more by the time all of the mail-in ballots have been tallied. Still, Trump won the Electoral College–or so it would appear. If voting goes as planned, Trump should get as many as 290 Electoral College votes, to Clinton’s 232.
Clinton will be the fifth candidate to win the popular vote but lose the election.
The legislation Boxer is putting in place would amend the Constitution and abolish the Electoral College. If approved by congress, the amendment would have to be approved by three-fourths of the states before it would take effect.
Those who have benefited from Electoral College wins claim the system equalizes states, and strips massive population centers of having an undue influence on the outcome of elections.
Trump himself claims to have issues with the system. “I’m not going to change my mind just because I won,” the president-elect said. “But I would rather see it where you went with simple votes. You know, you get 100 million votes and somebody else gets 90 million votes and you win.”
There are still people calling for the electors of the college to change their votes. For more on that perspective, watch this.