A California senator filed legislation on Tuesday to abolish the Electoral College, after Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s popular vote win — but election loss —helped spark a week of protests and petitions.
Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), who is retiring after her term, introduced a bill that calls for an amendment to the Constitution, CBS San Francisco reported.
As with any changes to the Constitution, after two-thirds of the House and Senate approve, the amendment would only take effect if ratified by three-fourths of the states within seven years.
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Boxer was an outspoken Clinton supporter and said she hoped to check off electing the first female president from her to-do list before retiring, the Los Angeles Times reported.
"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 "The Electoral College is an outdated, undemocratic system that does not reflect our modern society, and it needs to change immediately.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."
The presidency is the only office where you can get more votes & still lose. It's time to end the Electoral College. https://t.co/OXZ9vHaIH1— Sen. Barbara Boxer (@SenatorBoxer) November 15, 2016
Boxer has co-sponsored legislation to abolish the Electoral College before, but none of the bills were considered, the L.A. Times reported.
This is the fourth time in U.S. history that a nominee won the popular vote, but lost the election. The most recent was in 2000, when former Vice President Al Gore won the popular vote by about 543,816, but Bush became the 43rd president. The first was in 1824, when John Quincy Adams took the presidency from Andrew Jackson, who won the popular vote by more than 38,000.
“This is the only office in the land where you can get more votes and still lose the presidency,” Boxer said. “The Electoral College is an outdated, undemocratic system that does not reflect our modern society, and it needs to change immediately.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.”
Clinton leads president-elect Donald Trump by nearly 990,758 votes and counting, according to Boxer’s office.The New York Times estimatesClinton could win the popular vote by more than 2 million votes; however, Trump won the most electors on Nov. 9.
When Trump thought Republican Mitt Romney won the popular vote in 2012, but lost the electoral vote, he tweeted, “The electoral college is a disaster for a democracy,” and continued to rail against the system.
The electoral college is a disaster for a democracy.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 7, 2012
On Tuesday, Trump’s tweets reflected a change of heart.
“The Electoral College is actually genius in that it brings all states, including the smaller ones, into play,” he tweeted. “Campaigning is much different!”
If the election were based on total popular vote I would have campaigned in N.Y. Florida and California and won even bigger and more easily— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 15, 2016
The Electoral College is actually genius in that it brings all states, including the smaller ones, into play. Campaigning is much different!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 15, 2016
About 4.3 million votes remain uncounted in the state, according to the California Secretary of State’s office.