Rep. Jamie Raskin Proposes Abolishing The Electoral College: ‘It Doesn’t Fit Anymore’
Rep. Jamie Raskin (D–Maryland) called the Electoral College “a danger” to American democracy. In an interview with Face the Nation, he advocated for popular-vote winners to win the presidency.
“The Electoral College now – which has given us five popular-vote losers as president in our history, twice in this century alone – has become a danger, not just to democracy, but to the American people,” he said in the interview. “It was a danger on January 6.”
Hillary Clinton and Al Gore won the popular vote in 2016 and 2000, respectively. Both were defeated in the Electoral College – advancing candidates to the Presidency who received fewer votes.
Three other Presidential candidates lost because of the Electoral College: Andrew Jackson (1824), Samuel Tilden (1876) and Grover Cleveland (1888).
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Raskin is one of the nine members of the House’s January 6 committee.
Raskin supports the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact – a pledge by multiple states and the District of Columbia to give their Presidential electoral votes to the popular-vote winner.
“The truth is that we need to be continually renovating and improving our institutions,” he said. “The [Constitution’s] framers were great, and they were patriots, but they didn’t have the benefit of the experience that we have lived, and we know that the Electoral College doesn’t fit anymore.”
The Electoral College was implemented to give states with smaller populations a greater say in the selection of presidents.
Raskin’s statements were made days after the January 6 Committee released its final report. The committee voted to recommend that the Justice Department criminally indict Donald Trump for his involvement in the attack.
Raskin pointed to the increasing threat of violence toward lawmakers as a direct threat to American democracy.
“What it means to live in a democracy with basic civic respect is that people can disagree without resorting to violence. But the internet has played a negative role, especially for the right wing, the extreme right, which now engages in very dangerous hyperbolic rhetoric that exposes people to danger.”
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