Top 2020 Democratic presidential contender Sen. Elizabeth Warren (Mass.) said Sunday that if elected she would work to dismantle the Electoral College.
“My goal is to get elected—but I plan to be the last American president to be elected by the Electoral College. I want my second term to be elected by direct vote,” Warren said during a campaign event in Marion, Iowa, on Dec. 1.
She was then asked about her thoughts on the Electoral College.
“I want to get rid of it,” Warren responded.
“I just think this is how a democracy should work. Call me old-fashioned, but I think the person who gets the most votes should win,” she added.
The founders established the Electoral College for the election of presidents because they feared a direct democratic election would favor the most populous regions of the country and give the least populated regions virtually no voice.
The EC consists of 538 electors. The number of votes assigned to each state is based on the U.S. Census of population, not of actual citizens. Each state gets two votes for its two senators and a number of votes equal to the number of members in the House of Representatives.
Most states have systems where whichever candidate gets the most votes wins the electoral votes from that state. Maine and Nebraska have a variation of proportional representation, or a system that divides the electoral votes.
Each presidential candidate has their own slate of potential electors.
“When the voters in each state cast votes for the presidential candidate of their choice they are voting to select their state’s electors. The potential electors’ names may or may not appear on the ballot below the name of the presidential candidates, depending on election procedures and ballot formats in each state,” according to the National Archives.
Several 2020 Democratic presidential contenders have voiced support for eliminating the Electoral College, especially after 2016 nominee Hillary Clinton won the popular vote by about 3 million though President Trump won the electoral college vote very comfortably.
Getting rid of the electoral college would require amending the Constitution which, in the current political environment would be next to impossible, analysts have said.