Is it time to abolish the Electoral College? Elizabeth Warren, other Dems say ‘yes’

Warren
Elizabeth Warren. Screen capture by CBS News via YouTube video

During a Town Hall event Monday evening in Mississippi, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) made a bold suggestion — that perhaps it’s time to end the Electoral College — as a way to make sure all votes count, Vox reports.

“We need to make sure that every vote counts,” she said. “The way we can make that happen is that we can have national voting and that means get rid of the Electoral College, and everybody…I think everybody ought to have to come and ask for your vote.”

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And her suggestion is gaining traction among her fellow Democrats, especially former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas). O’Rourke said he thinks there’s “wisdom” in that idea.

In a video posted to Twitter, he had this to say to MSNBC’s Kailani Koenig, per The Hill:

“You had an election in 2016 where the loser got three million more votes than the victor. It puts some states out of play altogether.”

Many Democrats have increasingly criticized the institution, especially after Donald Trump was elected president after losing the popular vote. And of course, this isn’t the first time that’s happened. Former President George W. Bush was elected president even though Democratic nominee Al Gore won the popular vote.

And some states are taking action as well. Delaware and Colorado are the latest states to sign onto a plan that circumvents the Electoral College. Called the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact, the plan is an alliance of states that will award electoral votes to whoever wins the popular vote.

That plan has hit a bump, however. As it stands, the states agreeing to the plan have fallen short of the 270 electoral votes necessary to win the White House — and thus kick the compact’s promise into action.

Pete Buttigieg, a Democrat and the mayor of South Bend, Indiana is also a 2020 presidential contender is also calling for the abolition of the Electoral College, and told The Washington Post “it’s gotta go.”

In fact, he’s calling for a constitutional amendment to do away with the Electoral College.

“It wouldn’t be easy to do overnight, but it would also have the function of reminding everybody that structural reforms are an option, and encouraging us to have that level of intellectual ambition.”

Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.) thinks now is a good time to terminate the Electoral College saying the institution was “conceived in sin” as a way to perpetuate slavery, The Hill reports.

“The country is different than it was when the Constitution was drafted,” Cohen said during a CNN interview. “When the Constitution was drafted, a lot of it had to do with slavery. The slave states wanted to keep equal representation in the Senate because they wanted to keep slavery. The slave states wanted to have an electoral college to where the members that they had in Congress counted towards the vote of president where the slaves counted as two-thirds and in the popular vote they would count as zero. So the slaves states didn’t want a popular election because their slaves wouldn’t count towards voting and the slaves states would have had less votes.”

“This is all conceived in sin and in perpetuating slavery on the African-American people,” he said, voicing his support for Warren’s call to sideline the Electoral College.

Cohen, in fact, introduced an amendment to abolish the institution in January. Here’s what he had to say in the video below. The video below that is a clip of Warren’s Town Hall speech.

Featured image via the video above