U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., is calling for the elimination of the Electoral College, describing it a racist “scam” that undermines the votes of minorities.
“Due to severe racial disparities in certain states, the Electoral College effectively weighs white voters over voters of color, as opposed to a ‘one person, one vote’ system where all our votes are counted equally,” she claims in an Instagram story Monday that included her driving along a deserted highway and quipping, “many votes here, as you can see,” the Hill reported.
She pushed rejects the argument that eliminating the Electoral College would give big states too much power.
“Could you image if we had this kind democracy-altering ‘fairness’ provision for literally any other group?” she asks. “If we weighed, for example, black and indigenous voters more because of unfairness?”
She argues that the votes of the many Republicans who live in Democratic-leaning states would count equally in a popular vote.
“Facts are facts America,” Ocasio-Cortez concludes. “The Electoral College has to go.”
Several Democratic-leaning states have joined a National Popular Vote compact in which members would allocate their Electoral College vote to the candidate that gains the most votes nationally.
The compact cannot be implemented until the coalition includes states that accumulate at least 270 electoral votes. Sixteen states have joined, but two states backed out, WND reported, and now voters in Colorado will be asked if they want to quit the compact.
Among the 2020 Democratic presidential candidates who support abolishing the Electoral College are Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg.
Proponents of eliminating the Electoral College – who include Hillary Clinton – point out that Clinton lost the presidential election in 2016 despite winning nearly 3 million more votes than Donald Trump nationally. However, neither campaign based its strategy on the national popular vote. Further, the margin in California alone accounts for Clinton’s “victory” in the national popular vote.
Defenders of the Electoral College point out that a pure national vote would make smaller states irrelevant, with campaigns focusing their energies on major population centers.
Heritage Foundations legal expert Hans von Spakovsky explained in a paper on the Electoral College that the Founders “struggled to satisfy each state’s demand for greater representation while attempting to balance popular sovereignty against the risk posed to the minority from majoritarian rule.”
In Federalist 68, Alexander Hamilton argued that while the people should have considerable power to choose the president, it’s “desirable” that “the immediate election should be made by men most capable of analyzing the qualities adapted to the station, and acting under circumstances favorable to deliberation, and to a judicious combination of all the reasons and inducements which were proper to govern their choice.”
Jarrett Stepman pointed out in the Heritage Foundation’s Daily Signal that states are free to select the method in which they choose their electors.
In the early days of the republic, most states chose to have their legislatures pick electors, rather than the people.
By the time of the Civil War, every state had shifted to the popular election method.
The National Popular Vote argues the current system encourages presidential candidates to spend most of their time in “swing states” rather than campaigning for votes across the entire country.
Von Spakovsky contests that assumption, because swing states “can change from election to election, and many states that are today considered to be reliably ‘blue’ or ‘red’ in the presidential race were recently unpredictable.”