SAN FRANCISCO (BCN) — Following Donald Trump’s surprising victory in the presidential election last week, outgoing U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-California, will introduce a bill to abolish the Electoral College Tuesday.
Trump won the Electoral College, a system where each state receives a specified number of votes based on their population, but appears on track to receive fewer overall votes than rival Hillary Clinton.
While ballots are still being counted, as of Tuesday morning Clinton leads by 990,758 votes, according to Boxer’s office. Clinton could win the popular vote by more than 2 million votes, according to some estimates.
Back in 2012, when he believed Mitt Romney won the popular vote but lost the Electoral College to Barack Obama, Trump called the Electoral College a “disaster.” However, since his victory, he has called it “genius.”
Trump has asserted that he would have campaigned differently if presidential elections were decided by the popular vote, taking more time in populous states like New York and California, and still would have won.
To abolish the Electoral College would require an amendment to the Constitution. If passed by the U.S. Congress, three-fourths of the states would also need to ratify it within seven years.
Trump’s election will be the second time in the past 16 years that a president has taken office without winning the popular vote, after George W. Bush won the Electoral College to beat popular vote-winner Al Gore in 2000. It has happened five times in the nation’s history.
“In my lifetime, I have seen two elections where the winner of the general election did not win the popular vote,” Boxer said in a statement.
“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 The Electoral College is an outdated, undemocratic system that does not reflect our modern society, and it needs to change immediately,” Boxer said.
Boxer is retiring at the end of her term and will be replaced by state Attorney General Kamala Harris, who was elected to the seat last week.
Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-California) has issued the following statement about the Electoral College.
“Our system of government is rooted in the principle of one person, one vote. Now that the loser of the popular vote has won the presidential election twice in 16 years, it’s clear that the Electoral College does not adhere to that principle and should be abolished. Secretary Clinton is currently winning the popular vote by more than 1 million votes—a lead that could grow as high as 2 million.
“The Electoral College was created as a compromise between large and small states, giving disproportionate weight to voters in smaller states. It initially granted inordinate representation to Southern states, which counted slaves as three-fifths of a person to gain additional seats in Congress, while denying those same people fundamental freedoms including the right to vote. Simply put, it’s past time to do away with this archaic system.
“I look forward to working with my colleagues on this issue in the next Congress. Long odds should not dissuade us from fighting to make sure our democracy accurately reflects the will of the voters.”