U.S.

Elizabeth Warren Says She Wants to Remove Electoral College for "Every Vote To Matter"

During a CNN Town Hall in Jackson, Mississippi, 2020 presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren said she was OK with abolishing the Electoral College.

The Massachusetts senator said she was initially asked about voting rights, with an audience member citing 23 felonies that prevent convicted criminals in Mississippi from voting for the rest of their lives and "archaic" voter registration ordeals as illustrations of voter disenfranchisement. 

Warren responded by saying she "would go one bigger," citing the need for a constitutional amendment to "protect the right to vote for every American citizen and to make sure that vote gets counted."

"We need to put some federal muscle behind that, and we need to appeal every voter suppression law that is out there right now," Warren said.

She went on to say that every vote needed to be counted, and that candidates didn't typically campaign in nonswing states like Mississippi during general elections. 

"My view is that every vote matters," Warren continued. "And the way we can make that happen is that we can have national voting and that means get rid of the Electoral College and every vote counts."

The audience cheered in response.

"I think everybody ought to have to come and ask for your vote," Warren said.

Warren joined other Democrats, such as fellow presidential candidate and current mayor of South Bend, Indiana, Pete Buttigieg, Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York and Steve Cohen of Tennessee, among others, who have called for the abolition of the Electoral College.

Cohen introduced a bill in January to eliminate the Electoral College, saying that Trump was elected only with electoral votes while Democratic challenger Hillary Clinton won the popular vote by a 2.8 million advantage. The same thing happened in 2000, when George W. Bush won the Electoral College vote while Al Gore took the popular vote.

In a statement, Cohen said, "The winner of the popular vote did not win the election because of the distorting effect of the outdated Electoral College.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. More than a century ago, we amended our Constitution to provide for the direct election of U.S. senators. It is past time to directly elect our president and vice president." 

Last week, Colorado joined 11 other states and the District of Columbia in the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact, a pledge that promised the states' electoral votes would go to whichever candidate won the popular vote. Rhode Island, Vermont, Hawaii, Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, Washington, New Jersey, New York, Illinois and California are all onboard, with New Mexico considering the bill, The Washington Post reported.

The bill, however, would need enough states to total 270 electoral votes—the number needed for a candidate to win a general election—for it to take effect. The bill currently has 181 electoral votes from the states that have signed on.

The infographic below, provided by Statista, illustrates presidential performances in the popular vote.

20190319_Popular_Vote_NW Presidential performances in the popular vote Statista

Join the Discussion