Amendment introduced to abolish Electoral College

A campaign to get rid of the Electoral College is picking up steam. Sen. Brian Schatz of Hawaii, along with fellow Democratic Senators Dick Durbin, Dianne Feinstein and Kirsten Gillibrand, introduced a constitutional amendment Tuesday to abolish the Electoral College.

“In an election, the person who gets the most votes should win. It’s that simple,” Schatz said in a statement. “No one’s vote should count for more based on where they live. The Electoral College is outdated and it’s undemocratic. It’s time to end it.”

Other top Democrats, including presidential candidates Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Sen. Cory Booker and Pete Buttigieg, have also said the Electoral College should be scrapped. The concept has gained in popularity after both Al Gore and Hillary Clinton lost their respective presidential elections despite winning the popular vote.

Larry Sabato, director of the University of Virginia Center for Politics, said it could happen again in the future.

“It’s likely that if anything, the incidents of the popular vote being disregarded by the Electoral College will be increasing during the 21st century. Why? Because of the concentration of Democratic votes in a smaller number of states,” Sabato told CBSN. “They may be big states like New York and California. But when you put all the electoral votes together, Democrats will have more trouble reaching 270 [electoral votes] than they will winning the popular vote.”

Warren proposes ending Electoral College

Sabato said Republicans have argued in favor of the Electoral College because it supports states rights. In addition, he said they understand GOP candidates will have a better chance of success if the Electoral College remains.

“It also sets a precedent for the Senate, which is also very unrepresentative of the population. Two senators per state. So Wyoming, which has 1/70th the population of California, gets exactly the same representation in the U.S. Senate,” Sabato said.

Sabato said he believes it’s unlikely the Electoral College will be abolished. However, some states are taking action on their own.

Twelve states and Washington, D.C. have entered into the National Popular Interstate Compact, which would abolish the Electoral College if states with a collective 270 electoral votes join in. Currently, the pact has states totaling 181 votes.

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