Democratic Senator Introduces Bill To Abolish The Electoral College

Back when Donald Trump was lagging badly in the polls - as recently as just over a week ago - any time the republican candidate accused the electoral system of being rigged, Democrats would scream over each other to explain to him just how fair, balanced and sensible is the mandated framework of the US presidential election. Well, Trump won, and the roles are now flipped, with such pundits as Michael Moore, and even Paul Krugman earlier today, slamming the concept of the Electoral College, which Trump won decisively despite losing the popular vote.

In retrospect, Krugman may have been the rational one.

According to the LA Times reports, retiring California Democratic senator Barbara Boxer filed legislation Tuesday to abolish the Electoral College altogether in light of Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton winning the popular vote but still losing the election.

Boxer announced in a statement that the bill, which she introduced later on Tuesday afternoon, would determine the winner of presidential elections by the outcome of the popular vote. She cited President-elect Donald Trump's victory in the Electoral College despite Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton's apparent popular vote advantage.

"In my lifetime, I have seen two elections where the winner of the general election did not win the popular vote," Boxer said in a statement. "The Electoral College is an outdated, undemocratic system that does not reflect our modern society, and it needs to change immediately. Every American should be guaranteed that their vote counts."

"In 2012, Donald Trump tweeted, 'The electoral college is a disaster for a democracy,' " Boxer added. "I couldn't agree more. One person, one vote!"

While such legislation makes a symbolic statement after an election that shocked Democrats, is unlikely to gain traction with Republicans holding control of both chambers of Congress in a lame duck session.

Her bill calls for an amendment to the Constitution that would end the Electoral College system. Should such a thing pass, the amendment would only take effect if ratified by three-fourths of the states within seven years after its passage in the U.S. Congress.

Boxer was a vocal advocate for Clinton throughout the campaign and had said that electing the first female president was on her to-do list before leaving the Senate in January.

This is the fifth time in history that a nominee has won the popular vote but not the Electoral College. The same situation happened to Al Gore in 2000, when he lost to George W. Bush.

While one can debate the merits of changing the constitution just so one's preferred candidate can win, we'll pass and instead conclude with the following cartoon which explains everything.

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Boxer's full proposed legislation is below:

Boxer Introduces Bill To Abolish The Electoral College

 

Donald Trump to Become Fifth Person in U.S. History To Lose Popular Vote and Still Become President

 

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) will introduce legislation when the Senate comes into session later today that would eliminate the Electoral College and determine the winner of presidential elections by the outcome of the popular vote.

 

Hillary Clinton currently leads the popular vote by nearly a million votes (990,758). By the time all the ballots are counted, the New York Times estimates that Clinton may win the popular vote by more than two million votes and more than 1.5 percentage points. Donald Trump will become the fifth President in U.S. history to lose the popular vote and still win the election.

 

"In my lifetime, I have seen two elections where the winner of the general election did not win the popular vote," said Senator Boxer. "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. This is the only office in the land where you can get more votes and still lose the presidency. The Electoral College is an outdated, undemocratic system that does not reflect our modern society, and it needs to change immediately. Every American should be guaranteed that their vote counts."

 

"In 2012, Donald Trump tweeted, 'The electoral college is a disaster for a democracy,' " Boxer added. "I couldn't agree more. One person, one vote!"

 

During his interview on "60 Minutes" on Sunday, Trump said his views on the Electoral College haven't changed. "You know, I'm not going to change my mind just because I won. 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," he said. This morning, he tweeted that the Electoral College is "actually genius."

 

As of early Tuesday, Hillary Clinton had received 61,929,605 votes (47.8 percent) and Donald Trump had received 60,938,847 votes (47.0 percent), according to the Cook Political Report national popular vote tracker.

 

Senator Boxer's legislation would amend the Constitution of the United States and abolish the Electoral College. The amendment would take effect when ratified by three-fourths of the states within seven years after its passage in the U.S. Congress.


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