WASHINGTON – Senators Brian Schatz (D-HI), Dick Durbin (D-IL) Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), introduced a Senate companion to Chairman of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, Congressman Steve Cohen’s proposed constitutional amendment (H.J.Res 7), which would eliminate the Electoral College and provide for the direct election of the President and Vice President of the United States.
“In two presidential elections since 2000, including the most recent one in which Hillary Clinton won 2.8 million more votes than her opponent, the winner of the popular vote did not win the election because of the distorting effect of the outdated Electoral College. Americans expect and deserve the winner of the popular vote to win office,” said Congressman Cohen. “President Lincoln, the first Republican President, said in his famous Gettysburg address, we are a government “of the people, by the people, for the people.” In accordance with the spirit of those words, we should change our Constitution and provide for the direct election of the President by the people.
“In an election, the person who gets the most votes should win. It’s that simple,” said Senator Schatz. “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 The Electoral College is outdated and it’s undemocratic.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.”
“Before the 2000 election, I introduced a bipartisan resolution to amend the Constitution and create a system of direct election for presidents. And I still believe today as I did then that the Electoral College is a relic from a shameful period in our nation’s history, and allows some votes to carry greater weight than others,” said Senator Durbin. “It’s time to end the Electoral College, and I’m proud to help introduce this bill with Senator Schatz and Rep. Cohen.”
“Every American should know that their vote counts equally no matter what state they live in, and that’s why we need a more democratic system that guarantees one person, one vote,” said Senator Gillibrand. “The Electoral College has distorted the outcome of elections and disenfranchised millions of voters, and I think that’s wrong. I believe that it’s time to get rid of the Electoral College, and I am ready to fight in Congress and around the country to pass this constitutional amendment to do that.”
“Every four years, Californians are under-represented when they cast ballots for president of the United States because of the Electoral College. Each elector stands for 712,000 California residents, but a small state like Wyoming gets the same vote for only 195,000 residents. That’s simply not fair and needs to be fixed, particularly given that twice in the last two decades the popular victor hasn’t become president. The best solution is to eliminate the Electoral College,” said Senator Feinstein.