Senate Democrats Expected To Propose Amendment To Abolish Electoral College

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Senate Democrats plan to introduce a constitutional amendment Tuesday intended to abolish the Electoral College.

The measure is expected to be proposed by Hawaii Democrat Sen. Brian Schatz and supported by members of his caucus from states with some of the largest metropolitan areas in the country, according to Politico.

“To me, it reflects popular sentiment, and in a democracy, that should be good enough. Inserting the electoral college into the system creates an artificial qualification that I don’t think is consistent with the fundamentals,” Illinois Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin told The Daily Caller early Monday evening.

New York Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and California Democratic Sen. Diane Feinstein, along with Durbin, are reportedly backing up Schatz’s measure, as well. But not every member that caucuses with the Democrats are on board just yet.

I don’t have a firm position
on it. It’s one that I’m thinking about…

“I don’t have a firm position on it,” said Maine Independent Sen. Angus King. “It’s one that I’m thinking about. I understand the importance of the electoral popular vote being recognized. We’ve had two presidents elected against the popular vote in the last 20 years. But I can argue it both ways. The Electoral College makes it so that all the states count and the candidates have to go to smaller states like Maine. So, as you can see, I’m undecided.”

Vermont Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy also considers himself undecided, saying, “I know Sen. Bayh tried that a few years ago, the segregationists from the south blocked it because they didn’t want the votes to count for African Americans. What will happen now, I don’t know.”

Democrats remain frustrated that Al Gore and Hillary Clinton both won the popular vote but lost the Electoral College in their respective presidential races against their Republican opponents, but changing or abolishing the Electoral College is a high hurdle, despite the numerous times Congress has tried.

Sen. Angus King

Following the ratification of the 12th Amendment of the Constitution, which sets present electoral voting protocol, nearly every session of Congress since 1804 included a proposal to reform the Electoral College in some way. Of the almost 12,000 measures proposed to amend the Constitution from 1789 through January 2019, over 1000 were related to the Electoral College.

Despite the efforts over the years to change the Electoral College, there has never been enough congressional support to change the system, as an amendment is required to pass both congressional chambers by a two-thirds vote and then be ratified by three-fourths of the states.