Another Effort to Scrap the Electoral College Is Brewing in Massachusetts

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Photo by Gage Skidmore on Flickr/Creative Commons

Photo by Gage Skidmore on Flickr/Creative Commons

Hillary Clinton won the popular vote by more than 1.7 million votes—and counting. And yet it’s her opponent, Donald Trump, who’s assembling his cabinet and sifting through swatches of gold leaf for the Lincoln Bedroom. The former reality TV star is the fifth candidate to win the presidency by garnering the requisite 270 electoral votes, yet lost the popular vote. And several lawmakers are angling to ensure it never happens again.

Sen. Barbara Boxer, a California Democrat, issued a statement last week that she intends to file a bill in the Senate that aims to dismantle the Electoral College. “In my lifetime, I have seen two elections where the winner of the general election did not win the popular vote,” Boxer said. “This is the only office in the land where you can get more votes and still lose the presidency. The Electoral College is an outdated, undemocratic system that does not reflect our modern society, and it needs to change immediately. Every American should be guaranteed that their vote counts. In Massachusetts, state Sen. Eric Lesser tells Politico that he’s filing a resolution on Beacon Hill, calling for the Electoral College’s  and the “direct election of the President and Vice President by the popular vote of all citizens of the United States.”

“It has now been twice in 16 years, and five times total in American history, that a president and vice president have been elected by winning a majority of the Electoral College, despite the fact that they lost the national popular vote,” Lesser said in a statement. “Given the importance of empowering voters to believe every vote counts in a presidential election, the repeal of the Electoral College merits a thorough discussion and examination.”

Lesser, a Longmeadow Democrat and Harvard alum, endorsed Clinton in this year’s contest and previously worked as an aide in the Obama administration, where he helped originate the first Passover Seder hosted by a sitting U.S. president. Though abolishing the Electoral College requires a constitutional amendment—a longshot, by any measure—Lesser said he hopes his resolution “contributes to such a discussion.”

Source URL: https://www.bostonmagazine.com/news/2016/11/21/massachusetts-electoral-college/