Retiring Democratic Senator of California Barbara Boxer recently proposed a bill to abolish the Electoral College after Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s tragic loss last week. In an article published by CNN, author Diane Diaz featured one of the Senators tweets:
The presidency is the only office where you can get more votes & still lose. It's time to end the Electoral College. https://t.co/OXZ9vHaIH1
— Sen. Barbara Boxer (@SenatorBoxer) November 15, 2016
For those who may not understand why Hillary Clinton failed to become the next president-elect, here is a simple synopsis of what went down in the “rigged system” — as Donald Trump likes to call it. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton won the popular vote, which is a more direct and accurate determinant of who the American people want as their leader.
Arguably, these votes are more important and should be prioritized over any other. But they weren’t, because they come secondary to the electoral votes. A presidential candidate needs 270 out of 538 electoral votes that are cast by representatives from each state in the electoral college in order to win the presidency, making the significance of the popular vote a moot point.
The tradition of having electoral votes representing each state’s choice has been implemented in the election system since 1787. As Boxer proposes to eradicate the existence of a college that no longer represents what the people truly want, she recalls the current president-elect’s views on the system back in 2012.
It was Donald Trump who tweeted in 2012 that “The electoral college is a disaster for a democracy.” In an article titled: “We used to count black Americans as 3/5 of a person. For reparations, give them 5/3 of a vote,” the author, Theodore R. Johnson, mentions how, when Black Americans were first given a right to vote, they were only viewed upon as 3/5 of a person in order to not sabotage the number of electoral votes their state received.
Here, we could argue that the system continues to fail us by over-representing some states and under-representing others. In CNN’s article, Diaz stated that “the actual likelihood of Boxer’s bill passing is low. It’s a proposed constitutional amendment, which would require passage not only by two-thirds majorities in the House and Senate, but then in three-quarters of states. A lame duck session and a Republican Congress will make it difficult to get such a bill through the legislative branch.”
So, although the people wanted Clinton and the system chose Trump, some traditions implemented by the Founding Fathers are rooted so deeply into the standard procedure of this country that they just can’t be changed.