Feature  

Moving beyond the Electoral College

At an Ash Center symposium on Electoral College reform, Congressman Jamie Raskin makes the case that the US should finally move to a direct popular vote for selecting presidential winners.

Congressman Jamie Raskin speaks at an Ash Center conference on the Electoral College

With the fall campaign season just months away, Joe Biden and Donald Trump are mapping out their general election strategies – most of which target the handful of competitive swing states needed to vault either candidate over the critical 270 Electoral College vote threshold. While tens of millions of Americans will head to the polls in November, only a handful of swing states, split by a few thousand voters, are again likely to determine the results of what may be the most consequential presidential election in memory.

For voters living outside of those swing states, their vote, and their voice are ultimately of little consequence in determining the next president of the United States. “The vast majority of Americans live in safe blue states or safe red states,” said Congressman Jamie Raskin (D-MD), a constitutional scholar who has used his perch as a member of the House Judiciary Committee to advocate ditching the Electoral College system for choosing presidents. “It marginalizes the vast majority of Americans, including primarily everybody in this room.”

Raskin, speaking at a conference sponsored by the Ash Center examining the future of the Electoral College, was deeply critical of the current system for formally selecting presidential winners. “It’s an accident waiting to happen every four years. I mean, Jefferson himself called it an ink blot on the Constitution. And so, it’s always been recognized that it’s dangerous and dangerously unstable.”

Watch the Recording


More from this Program

Elections and Voting Summer Reading List
Collage of the book covers, youtube graphics, and report covers

Feature

Elections and Voting Summer Reading List

A collection of must-reads curated by Ash Center’s Tova Wang showcases new ideas and efforts to build a more inclusive democracy in the US.

More on this Issue

Elections and Voting Summer Reading List
Collage of the book covers, youtube graphics, and report covers

Feature

Elections and Voting Summer Reading List

A collection of must-reads curated by Ash Center’s Tova Wang showcases new ideas and efforts to build a more inclusive democracy in the US.