Sen. Barbara Boxer to introduce bill to end the Electoral College

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WASHINGTON -- Retiring Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer, who was an outspoken supporter of Hillary Clinton during the 2016 election, is set to introduce a Senate bill that aims to end the Electoral College.

Boxer announced in a statement on Tuesday that the bill, which she planned to introduce later 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 "The Electoral College is an outdated, undemocratic system that does not reflect our modern society, and it needs to change immediately.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!"

According to CNN's election results as of Tuesday, Clinton won 61,329,657 votes and Trump won 60,530,867.

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.

The actual likelihood of Boxer's bill passing is low. It's a proposed constitutional amendment, which would require passage not only by two-thirds majorities in the House and Senate, but then in three-quarters of states. A lame duck session and a Republican Congress will make it difficult to get such a bill through the legislative branch.

On Tuesday, Trump praised the Electoral College after previously criticizing the system. He said he could have won the popular vote if he campaigned differently.

Trump tweeted he would have won the populous states of Florida, New York and California if he had spent more time campaigning there.

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5 comments

  • KTT

    It’ll never happen. There’s already been over 4 million votes by illegals and dead people in this election, most or all which would be for Hillary so most likely she didn’t actually win the popular vote either. Could you imagine the recounts and investigations that would occur nationwide basing it on the popular vote? It took a long, painful, controversial laden time in 2000 just for Florida to figure out the popular vote. Now extrapolate that nationwide every single election.

  • Kevin Rahe

    It’s bad enough that states like Wyoming and Vermont don’t get much attention from presidential candidates. Eliminate the Electoral College and we will see almost all the campaigning done in the few huge metropolitan areas that give candidates the most bang for the buck in determining the outcome. The candidates would spend all their time on the coasts, with an occasional quick stop in cities like Chicago or Houston. It would also heavily favor Democrats, whose base of support is urban areas, meaning they would have much less ground to cover than Republicans would, whose support tends to come more from rural areas.

    What it boils down to is the question of whether states matter. The Electoral College merely applies the combined effects of the way we’re represented in the Senate and the House for making laws to the presidential election. If you don’t agree with those effects being used for the latter, you’re pretty much claiming that our entire legislative system is broken.

  • Beth

    Yeah, let’s just let California and New York decide who gets to be the president every four years. What a great idea. We have 50 states, not two. I agree that the popular vote should matter, but if it was based solely on that, smaller populated states wouldn’t matter, and that’s not fair.