Barbara Boxer has introduced a bill to the U.S. Senate in order to start the process of abolishing the Electoral College, according to The Hill. The Electoral College has been the center of attention, and controversy, following the results of the election for President of the United States that has been won by Donald Trump. The controversy stems from the fact that Trump won more than the 270 Electoral Votes that is needed to be elected president while his opponent, Hillary Clinton, won the popular vote by over one million votes.
— Los Angeles Times (@latimes) November 15, 2016
In the United States, the Electoral College is used to elect the President of the United States. The popular vote is not used. Many voters feel that their vote does not count as much in presidential elections since they are voting for an Elector to vote for president based on how their state votes. Barbara Boxer is one of the people who believe that the popular vote should be used to elect presidents.
“In my lifetime, I have seen two elections where the winner of the general election did not win the popular vote. In 2012, Donald Trump tweeted, ‘The electoral college is a disaster for a democracy.’ I couldn’t agree more. One person, one vote! The Electoral College is an outdated, undemocratic system that does not reflect our modern society, and it needs to change immediately.”
Prior to the election on November 8, 2016, the candidate for president who won the Electoral College, but lost the popular vote, had happened four times. It is considered to be an extremely rare occurrence, but now that it has happened twice in the last 16 years, more people are jumping on board with the group of politicians that think the Electoral College should be abolished. Abolishing it will not be an easy task.
— Victoria Brownworth (@VABVOX) November 20, 2016
The 12th amendment to the Constitution defines the power and authority of the Electoral College. Since the Electoral College was established as an amendment to the Constitution, the Constitution will have to be ratified in order to abolish it.
The process of altering any of the amendments in the Constitution was purposefully made difficult so that the law of the land could not be changed very often. Since its inception, hundreds of bills have been introduced that would have modified the Constitution yet the document has only been amended 27 times.
In order to ratify an amendment to the Constitution, one of two things need to happen to start the process. One of the ways to start the process is to have the Senate and House of Representatives each pass a bill with a 2/3 majority vote on the bill that would amend the Constitution. The other method is to have 2/3 of the states to make a motion to Congress to hold a Constitutional Convention.
If the proposed change to the Constitution makes it through one of the ways discussed earlier, each state will have the ability to decide if they agree with the proposed change to the Constitution. In order to ratify the Constitution, 3/4 of the states need to vote for the change. With 50 states, 38 of them would have to vote for it in order for the change to take effect. Over the course of history, a ratification proposal has made it out of Congress and gone to the states 33 times.
Now that he has won, has Donald Trump’s opinion on the Electoral College changed?
“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.”
Do you think the Electoral College should be abolished?
[Featured Image by John Minchillo/AP Images]