Elections

Senate Democrats Expected To Propose Amendment To Abolish Electoral College

Photo by Mark Makela/Getty Images

Kerry Picket Political Reporter

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. (RELATED: Presidential Historian Doug Wead Explains Why The Founders Set Up The Electoral College)

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,” 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.”

People protest outside the Colorado Capitol building in Denver, Colorado on December 19, 2016 to demonstrate against US President-elect Donald Trump on the day the Electoral College votes to certify the election. Members of America's Electoral College convened across the country Monday to formally anoint Donald Trump as president, with opponents clinging to slim hopes of a revolt that could deny him power. / AFP / Chris Schneider (Photo credit should read CHRIS SCHNEIDER/AFP/Getty Images)

People protest outside the Colorado Capitol building in Denver, Colorado on December 19, 2016 to demonstrate against US President-elect Donald Trump … Getty Images / AFP / Chris Schneider

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.” (RELATED: Electoral College Was ‘Conceived In Sin’ And Meant To Keep Black People Down, Says Steve Cohen)

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.

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. (RELATED: Flashback: JFK Once Defended 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.

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 Kerry Picket is a host on SiriusXM Patriot 125