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Senate introduces bill to end Electoral College

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Posted at 11:57 AM, Apr 02, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-02 12:57:23-04

WASHINGTON (WTVF) — Senators announced today a bill for consideration to abolish the Electoral College in presidential elections.

In January, Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.) of the House of Representatives proposed an amendment to the Constitution that would require direct election of the President and Vice President by the American people. This would end the Electoral College and make the popular vote the deciding factor in the presidential election. The bill announced by Senators today serves as a companion to that proposal made by the House.

The new Senate bill is spearheaded by Senators Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), and Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.).

"In an election, the person who gets the most votes should win," 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 The Electoral College is outdated and it's undemocratic.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."

Senator Gillibrand added that the American people deserve a system that guarantees, "One person, one vote," claiming that the Electoral College has distorted the outcome of elections in the past.

Since 2000, Democratic candidates have lost the presidential election due to having fewer votes in the Electoral College, despite having a higher percentage of the popular vote. This includes Hilary Clinton's loss to President Trump in 2016. Should this new bill pass, that outcome wouldn't happen anymore.

“Every four years, Californians are under-represented when they cast ballots for president of the United States because of the Electoral College," said Senator Feinstein. "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."

A companion bill is a bill that is introduced in both the Senate and the House of Representatives to promote simultaneous consideration of the measure in both chambers.