Four of the top Democrats in the Senate will introduce a constitutional amendment to eliminate the Electoral College and elect the president by popular vote, NBC News reports.
Hawaii Sen. Brian Schatz will introduce the measure with Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin, the No.2 Democrat in the Senate, and California Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the top Democrat on the Judiciary Committee. New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, who is running for president, has also signed on to the measure.
The measure is not likely to advance, given that a constitutional amendment requires a two-thirds vote in both chambers of Congress and ratification by 38 states, but it does give Democrats more fodder heading into a presidential election after two of the last three presidents lost the popular vote but won the electoral vote.
Electoral college on the chopping block:
A growing number of Democratic presidential candidates have come out in favor of eliminating the Electoral College.
Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, California Sen. Kamala Harris, and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders have all called for abolishing the current system, as have former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke, South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg, and former HUD Secretary Julian Castro.
While the constitutional amendment process is likely to never lead to real reform, a growing number of states are looking to get around the current system by pledging their electoral votes to the popular vote winner.
Thirteen states and Washington DC have signed on to the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact, an agreement that would award all of the member states’ electoral votes to the popular vote winner once there are enough members to make up 270 electoral votes, the number needed to clinch the election.
The 13 states and DC currently combined for 184 electoral votes but more states are considering legislation to enter the pact.