Boxer Introduces Bill To Abolish The Electoral College


#1

uesday, November 15, 2016

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 The Electoral College is an outdated, undemocratic system that does not reflect our modern society, and it needs to change immediately.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

boxer.senate.gov/?p=release&id=3355


#2

Look what could happen with a popular vote.

while we talk about a national popular vote reflecting an electoral majority, it runs the risk of splintering the vote instead. Judith Best argues that the “magnifier” effect of the electoral college usefully converts popular pluralities — like that of Bill Clinton, twice — to authority-enhancing majorities, and forestalls the possibility that the House will wind up choosing the president.

A national plebiscite could readily attract many candidates. Would a four- or five-way race in which the winner got 30 percent or less be better? Darin DeWitt and Thomas Schwartz argue in the current issue of the political science journal PS that a plurality winner could readily be someone detested by the majority.

washingtonpost.com/news/monkey-cage/wp/2016/11/15/should-the-u-s-keep-or-get-rid-of-the-electoral-college/

You could get a scenario where one candidate wins and they could get 30% of the overall popular vote and still win. How is that more fair than the current electoral college system?

I don’t think this bill will get far in Congress.


#3

Leave it to the Dems to try and foist some hiairbrained piece of legislation that would work only to their advantage,upon the electorate,further eroding our voice.So California and NY can always decide who will be president.Nevermind:rolleyes:


#4

The election style will change. The election was close with candidates ignoring different states because of the electoral college approach (with ‘blue’ and ‘red’ states.)

If we had popular vote elections, the candidates will canvas voters throughout the US in a different manner.

I agree we will see multiple candidates running and a winner who has the highest number of votes. That would lead to someone being elected with 30% or so of the vote. That means 70% of the voters would not have voted for them. If you thought this election was bad, just think what could happen in such a case (Germany actually had such an election in 1932 with disastrous results for the world.)

I would like to read Sen. Boxer’s bill when it is submitted.


#5

Or you could look at it as the majority of Americans deciding who will be president. :shrug:


#6

So basically,looking at the map of our country the coastal states being the most heavily populated and exclusively left leaning,why would the rest of the states even bother?No the electoral college is brilliant and really the most equatable way to ensure every vote counts!


#7

You are assuming 2 candidates. I could see at least 4 running with the current divisions of the country:

Social conservative - Economic conservative - e.g., Ted Cruz
Social liberal - Economic conservative - e.g., Gary Johnson
Social liberal - Economic liberal - e.g., Hillary Clinton
Social conservative - Economic liberal - e.g., ?


#8

Or it’s a way to give some voters in smaller states more voting power than their peers in the larger states. For example my vote in California counts for 83% of an average voter’s vote nationwide. Meanwhile someone who votes in Alaska, their vote is worth 250% the national average. Hardly seems an equitable situation. Why does someone in Alaska get a greater say in electing the president than someone in a more populous state just because we have more people?

But frankly I think your fears are overblown. I mean Trump only lost the popular vote by less than a million votes. And Bush won the Popular Vote in 2004. It seems like voters from both those smaller states you mention and indeed those minorities in the blue states that vote red could just as easily be heard in a more equitable Popular Vote system. And as Gilliam points out, it could even give third parties or alternate candidates outside the 2 major candidates a legitimate shot.

But I also acknowledge that absent the electoral college you could end up with a situation as you posit where middle American voters wouldn’t really have a reason to come out despite their seeming success in many recent elections. Frankly I think there are one of two solutions to the problem if the EC is maintained. One, maintain the Electoral College as is but make it a requirement to win both electoral and popular vote to be elected president, no winner and we go to a runoff. Or two, and frankly this is the better solution IMO, give the more populous states like California and Texas more electors (and have there be more overall) so that a their representation in the College is closer equal across the board for all states. There should not be such a disparity as is listed above between an Alaskan’s vote and a Californian’s vote.


#9

I think this is a knee jerk reaction, and people aren’t really stopping to consider that a scenario such as the one you outline would be entirely possible under a popular vote set up.


#10

Unless she is suggesting that we have multiple run-offs until someone gets 50%+1
That is why I said I would like to read her bill when she writes it.


#11

I’m confused. It would require a constitutional amendment, not just legislation, to eliminate the Electoral College, right? I didn’t think the Constitution could be amended by simple legislation.

Or am I missing something?


#12

You’re missing that she’s proposing a constitutional amendment.


#13

No. It’s right up there with proposed statehood for Washington DC.


#14

Do you understand the purpose of the Electoral College and why it was implemented?

Note: I feel this is sour grapes from the Boxer and those here that want the popular vote to rule. Face it: Hillary lost even with the MSM, academia and the entertainment industry on her side.


#15

yep

Note: I feel this is sour grapes from the Boxer and those here that want the popular vote to rule. Face it: Hillary lost even with the MSM, academia and the entertainment industry on her side.

Someone proposes this every 4 years or so. Considering the congress can’t pass simple legislation on a bipartisan basis, this has zero chance of going anywhere.


#16

There is one thing going for it. All those Republicans in CA will see their individual votes matter, instead of feeling like the state is just going to go blue so who cares. If it encourages more people to vote that’s a good thing. And I’d love an opportunity to be able to vote for someone I actually believe in. So far that’s only happened once in my life time and it wasn’t this year, that’s for sure.


#17

I see and have experienced both sides of this argument over the decades.

The electoral college is a “winner-take-all” at the state level.

A Constitutional change to using the popular vote would be a “winner-take-all” at the national level.

So do we keep the devil we know, or change to the devil we don’t know? :shrug:


#18

Especially since we DO NOT live in a democracy. Never have and never will. The electrol college is brilliant. Boxer not so.:mad:


#19

Boxer has become punch drunk.

**The Electoral College. 9 minutes. Please have a watch: **

youtube.com/watch?v=Jy3lNi0jXMA


#20

Very well said.

By the way, all of these people who are furious that Mrs. Clinton got more of the popular vote than Donald Trump? I wonder what they were saying back in 2008 when she beat Obama by 272,000 votes but yet wasn’t able to secure sufficient delegates to be the Democratic nominee.

Anyone who even hints that Trump is not a legitimate president because of this popular vote red herring is, by proxy, making a similar argument against Obama.

According to the very same logic, Obama should have never even been the nominee of the Democratic party.


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