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Boxer: Abolish Electoral College, Decide President On Popular Vote

WASHINGTON (CBS SF) – Nearly one week after Donald Trump was elected president over Hillary Clinton, Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-California) introduced legislation to abolish the Electoral College and have presidential elections decided on the popular vote.

"In my lifetime, I have seen two elections where the winner of the general election did not win the popular vote," Boxer said, referring to Clinton's Electoral College loss last week and Al Gore's loss to George W. Bush in 2000.

"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 The Electoral College is an outdated, undemocratic system that does not reflect our modern society, and it needs to change immediately.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," Boxer went on to say.

Boxer proposes amending the U.S. Constitution to abolish the Electoral College. Changing the Constitution requires the approval of two-thirds vote of both the House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate, along with the ratification of 38 state legislatures within seven years.


The senator also pointed out Trump's changing stance on the Electoral College, noting he called it a "disaster for democracy" after President Barack Obama defeated Mitt Romney in 2012.

On Tuesday, the President-elect tweeted to praise the Electoral College and claimed he would have won the popular vote if it weren't in place.

In an interview with KCBS, Boxer acknowledged that passage of her proposal would be a longshot. The senator has sponsored several bills to end the Electoral College during her political career.

"Why should a vote in California, Washington state or New York state or Connecticut be worth less than a vote in one of the red states? It just doesn't make sense, it should be one person, one vote," the senator said.

When asked about the election, Boxer said, "The only solace I have at this outcome is more people voted against racism, more people voted against misogyny, more people voted not to deport people."

As of Tuesday morning, CBS News reports that Clinton had a popular vote lead over Trump by a margin of 61.3 million to 60.5 million. Trump had 289 electoral votes over Clinton's 232, with Michigan remaining too close to call.

Trump was able to win the presidency after winning contests in several battleground states previously won by Democrats in 2012 and 2008, including Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

Clinton's popular vote lead is expected to grow, particularly resulting from votes in California, where she won the state by double digits. According to the California Secretary of State's office, 4.3 million votes remain uncounted (.pdf) as of Monday.

Boxer, who is retiring, will be succeeded by California Attorney Gen. Kamala Harris in January.

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