Senator proposes bill to abolish Electoral College

By Paige McGlauflin 11/16/16

Retiring California Senator Barbara Boxer has introduced a bill to congress to abolish the Electoral College. Boxer is a Democrat who staunchly supported Hillary Clinton in the 2016 race. She says that if the College were to be done away with, the winner of the presidential election would be determined by the outcome of the popular vote.

The Electoral College, which for all but two states, typically delegates all their electors to winner of the popular vote in that state, is in place to protect the interests of small states, and make sure that small states like Wyoming would have a fair chance when competing with large states like California. However, most states’ election results can already be predicted and the outcome is left to a handful of undecided states, called swing states.

Clinton won the popular vote but ultimately lost to Donald Trump because of the Electoral College. Clinton had a nearly million vote lead to Trump in the popular vote as of Tuesday. This is the fifth election where a candidate has won the popular vote but lost the College – the last time in 2000 and the others all in the 1800s.

“When all the ballots are counted, Hillary Clinton will have won the popular vote by a margin that could exceed two million votes, and she is on track to have received more votes than any other presidential candidate in history except Barack Obama,” Senator Boxer said in a statement. “This is the only office in the land where you can get more votes and still lose the presidency.” Boxer continued by saying the College is so outdated that it no longer reflects the modern American society and makes it so that not every vote counts.

Donald Trump tweeted in 2012 that “The Electoral College is a disaster for a democracy,” which Boxer agrees with, stating “One person, one vote!”

Since the proposal is a constitutional amendment, it would require approval from two-thirds majority of Congress, and then three-quarters of states. A Republican controlled congress would be unlikely to pass such a proposal.