Calif. Senator Moves to Abolish Electoral College

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Chelsea Viola
National Beat Reporter

Retiring California U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer will introduce a Senate bill that aims to eliminate the Electoral College and have the presidential elections be dictated by popular vote.

Boxer, an avid Clinton supporter in this past election, highlighted her discontent with the electoral college system in a statement she released on Tuesday.

“The Electoral College is an outdated, undemocratic system that does not reflect our modern society, and it needs to change immediately.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,” Boxer wrote.

Donald Trump won with 290 electoral votes, with Hillary Clinton only claiming 232.  

According to TIME, Clinton currently leads the popular vote by approximately one million votes. The 2016 election is the fifth presidential election in American history where the president-elect won the electoral vote and not the popular vote.

The electoral college has continually been in the center of controversy. Many people state that since the electoral vote has the definitive say in choosing the president, the wills expressed through individual voters are invalidated.

The framers of the constitution installed the electoral college to prevent “rule of the mob,” providing a checking of powers to prevent populations to be overwhelmingly swayed by popular opinion.

For Boxer’s bill to win, it must fight an uphill battle. Her proposed bill is a constitutional amendment, which would need a two-thirds majority of the (currently Republican-dominated) House and Senate, as well as three-quarters of the states’ approval.

Boxer’s move to alter the electoral college system is not unprecedented.

After the 2012 election, Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus endorsed the idea that Electoral College votes should be divided proportionally instead of the winner-takes-all approach after Mitt Romney lost both popular and electoral votes.

President-elect Trump, recently praised the electoral college after criticizing it in several years ago.  

On Tuesday, Trump tweeted, “The Electoral College is actually genius in that it brings all states, including the smaller ones, into play. Campaigning is much different!”

In 2012, Trump denounced the electoral college in a tweet, calling it a “disaster for democracy.”

In April of 2016, Mr. Trump has also stated that “our republican system is absolutely rigged” at a campaign event in upstate New York.

“It’s a phony deal. But what do I know? I started running nine months ago. Who knew I would be in first place. What do I know?” Trump said to the crowd.

After his victory in this election, president-elect Trump also stated that if that if the election was solely popular vote, he would have “won even bigger and more easily.”

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