Senator Eric P. Lesser announced today that he has filed a resolution calling on Congress to abolish the Electoral College and allow for the direct election of the President and Vice President by the popular vote of all citizens of the United States. A copy of the resolution, Senate Docket 2748, is below.
Senator Lesser released the following statement: “It has now been twice in 16 years, and five times total in American history, that a president and vice president have been elected by winning a majority of the Electoral College, despite the fact that they lost the national popular vote. Given the importance of empowering voters to believe every vote counts in a presidential election, the repeal of the Electoral College merits a thorough discussion and examination. My hope is that this Resolution contributes to such a discussion.”
Abolishing the Electoral College requires a Constitutional amendment, which is governed by Article V of the Constitution. Article V calls on the United States House of Representatives and Senate to each pass a proposed amendment by a two-thirds vote. The amendment would then be sent to the states for ratification, either by state legislatures, or conventions within the states, by a three-fourths vote of the states. Under Article V, two-thirds of states can also pass legislation petitioning Congress to call for a constitutional convention.
Resolutions calling on Congress to abolish the Electoral College and allow for the direct election of the President and Vice President by the popular vote of all citizens of the United States
WHEREAS, the Electoral College was established by Article II, Section One of the United States Constitution whereby states are directed to appoint electors who then meet and cast votes for president and vice president of the United States; and
WHEREAS, voters who cast ballots in the presidential election every four years delegate their votes to one of 538 electors, rather than voting directly for their preferred candidate; and
WHEREAS, on five different occasions throughout history, including twice in the last sixteen years, the president and vice president of the United States lost the national popular vote but were elected by winning a majority of the Electoral College; and
WHEREAS, the method of electing the president and vice president of the United States contradicts the principle of “one person, one vote,” which the United State Supreme Court established in Reynolds v. Sims under the Constitution’s Equal Protection Clause; and
WHEREAS, the method of electing United States Senators and Representatives, state governors and legislators, and local officials are selected by popular vote of the people within the corresponding state or district; and
WHEREAS, the voters of Massachusetts have been disenfranchised and left to feel like their vote does not count; and
WHEREAS, abolishing the Electoral College requires a Constitutional amendment, governed by Article V of the Constitution, which calls for both houses of the United States Congress to pass by a two-thirds vote a proposal that is subsequently sent to the states for ratification, either by state legislatures or conventions within the states, by a three-fourths vote of the states; therefore be it
RESOLVED, that the Massachusetts Legislature calls on the United States Congress to propose an amendment to the Constitution of the United States abolishing the Electoral College and allowing for the direct election of the President and Vice President by the popular vote of all citizens of the United States, which shall be valid to all intents and purposes as part of the Constitution when ratified by the legislatures of three-fourths of the several States; and be it further
RESOLVED, that the Clerk of the Massachusetts House of Representatives and Clerk of the Massachusetts Senate transmit copies of this resolution to the President and Vice President of the United States, the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, the Minority Leader of the United States House of Representatives, the President Pro Tempore of the United States Senate, and to each Senator and Representative from Massachusetts in the United States Congress.