Durbin, Schatz, Feinstein, Gillibrand Introduce Constitutional Amendment To End Undemocratic Electoral College

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL), Brian Schatz (D-HI), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) today introduced a constitutional amendment to abolish the Electoral College system and restore democracy by allowing the direct election of presidents through popular vote alone.

“Before the 2000 election, I introduced a bipartisan resolution to amend the Constitution and create a system of direct election for presidents. And I still believe today as I did then that the Electoral College is a relic from a shameful period in our nation’s history, and allows some votes to carry greater weight than others,” said Durbin. “It’s time to end the Electoral College, and I’m proud to help introduce this bill with Senators Schatz, Feinstein, and Gillibrand.”

In all but five presidential elections, the winner of the election received the most votes. Two of those five times came in the last 19 years, handing the presidency to candidates the majority of voters rejected.  A handful of states now determine the leader for all 50 states, regardless of each candidate’s final vote tally.

A zip code should not silence some voters while amplifying others.  This constitutional amendment would address this inequality by abolishing the outdated Electoral College system.  Specifically, the constitutional amendment would provide for the direct election of the President and Vice President of the United States by a popular vote among voters in each state, territory, and the District of Columbia.

Last month, Colorado became the latest state to join a national plan to bypass the Electoral College by agreeing to allocate its electoral votes to whichever candidate wins the nationwide popular vote.  Other states that have agreed to do the same, including Illinois, Rhode Island, Vermont, Hawai‘i, Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, Washington, New Jersey, New York, and California, as well as the District of Columbia.  The movement to abolish the Electoral College is also gaining popularity among voters with polls showing more voters preferring direct elections through a popular vote over the existing Electoral College system.