Sen. Elizabeth Warren said Monday that she fully supports abolishing the Electoral College and moving toward a national vote, the first time the 2020 presidential candidate has publicly taken the stance.
“My view is that every vote matters,” the Massachusetts Democrat said to roaring applause at her CNN presidential town hall at Jackson State University in Mississippi. “And the way we can make that happen is that we can have national voting, and that means get rid of the Electoral College.”
Warren, who announced her presidential run in February, is not the only one in the sea of 2020 candidates calling for the Electoral College’s abolishment. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) has called for a change in the Electoral College, saying the system is “unfair” to many states.
Pete Buttigieg, the young Democratic mayor from South Bend, Indiana, has also been vocal about getting rid of the Electoral College. He also suggests a Supreme Court made up of 15 justices, five of which would be appointed by the remaining 10.
In the Electoral College system, each state has as many electors as it has representatives and senators in Congress, which gives a slight advantage to states with smaller populations. Most states require that all electoral votes go to the candidate who wins the popular vote in that state.
Warren’s comments came just days after Colorado joined 11 other states and the District of Columbia in challenging the Electoral College’s power. Members of the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact plan to allocate their electoral votes to the next presidential candidate who wins the nationwide popular vote.
The plan only works if the law is passed by states representing at least 270 Electoral College votes, the number needed to win the presidential race. That number is at 181 after Colorado signed the measure into law Friday.
Warren said Monday night that the archaic Electoral College system disenfranchises voters in states dominated by one political party and that changing the process would require a constitutional amendment.
“Come a general election, presidential candidates don’t come to places like Mississippi, they also don’t come to places like California or Massachusetts, because we’re not the battleground states,” she said.
Former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton beat President Donald Trump by almost 3 million votes in the 2016 election by leading in strongly Democratic states. But Trump eventually won with the Electoral College’s help in swing states like Wisconsin and Michigan. Trump is the fifth United States president to have taken office without winning the national popular vote.