Earlier this week, former Attorney General Eric Holder called for the abolition of the electoral college because it is "undemocratic" and "forces candidates to ignore majority of the voters and campaign in a small number of states." In a New York Times op-ed, columnist Jamelle Bouie echoes all of the above and hopes that Holder's argument becomes a main topic among Democrats running for president. "The Electoral College routinely threatens or produces perverse outcomes, where the will of the voters is thwarted by an ill-considered 18th-century electoral device," writes Bouie. "It has no place in a democracy that strives for a standard of 'one person, one vote.'" It's also the reason Donald Trump is president instead of Hillary Clinton, he writes, and the reason Trump might win again in 2020.
Bouie runs through the historical origins of the electoral college, along with the failed attempts to replace it over the years with a system based on popular vote. Opponents of the electoral college have nowhere near the support necessary to get an amendment ratified abolishing it, he notes. "The inertia behind the Electoral College is strong, which is why it needs vocal opponents making their case as loudly and often as possible." However, he writes that the movement has, in fact, been gaining ground, with the governor of Colorado promising to join the National Popular Vote interstate compact, and Maine's legislature considering the same move. Click to read the full column, in which Bouie argues that the current system is a "glaring flaw" in our democracy. (Read more electoral college stories.)