Elizabeth Warren: 'Get rid of the Electoral College'
Sen. Elizabeth Warren is attempting to distinguish herself in the Democratic race for the presidency by leaning on her core strength: detailed policy proposals to overhaul everything from corporate and banking laws to federal lobbying rules. At CNN-hosted town hall in Jackson, Mississippi, she also voiced support for a much more ambitious reform: Doing away with the Electoral College.
“Every vote matters, and the way we can make that happen is that we can have national voting, and that means get rid of the Electoral College,” Ms. Warren said, drawing one of her longest ovations of the night.
The discrepancy between popular vote and Electoral College results has become a hot topic, after elections in both 2000 and 2016 awarded the presidency to the candidate with fewer nationwide votes, and reformers have long argued that it has outlived its original purpose. It is a result of a tape-and-twine constitutional system aimed as much at protecting the privileges of smaller states over the will of the broader electorate (see: Senate) and of 18th-century communications limitations. The ability now exists to count, accurately and in short order, the tally of votes nationwide; the reasons for not doing so remain political, not technological.
But it would require an amendment to the Constitution, a tricky thing to attempt in an age where attempts to reform the Constitution are as likely to produce a conservative demand that nuclear short-range missiles be classified as home defense weapons as they are to produce voter protections aimed at undoing the now far unbalanced privileges of the least populated states. In the meantime, twelve states and the District of Columbia have signed an interstate compact to pledge their electoral votes to the winner of the nationwide popular vote—an attempt to ensure the Electoral College vote mirrors the will of American voters by joint pledge, even if there is no constitutional requirement that it do so.