(CNSNews.com) – Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.), a member of the committee investigating the events of January 6, 2021, says the newly released report by that committee is “a story of some real villainy and some real danger to democracy.”
He said one of those dangers is the Electoral College, the process established in the Constitution by which Americans indirectly vote for a president, using “electors” as intermediaries. (The size of a state’s congressional delegation determines the number of that state’s electoral votes, giving less populated states more of a say in who will be president.)
“The truth is that we need to continually be renovating and improving our institutions,” Raskin told CBS’s “Face the Nation” on Sunday.
“Well, I think that the Electoral College now, which has given us five popular-vote-losers as president in our history, twice in this century alone, has become a danger, not just to democracy, but to the American people.
“It was a danger on January 6. There are so many curving byways and nooks and crannies in the Electoral College, that there are opportunities for a lot of strategic mischief. We should elect the president the way we elect governors, senators, mayors, representatives, everybody else: Whoever gets the most votes wins.”
Raskins said the newly enacted Electoral Count Act, part of the gigantic omnibus spending bill, “doesn’t solve the fundamental problem” with the Electoral College:
He said the Electoral Count Act is “the very least we can do and we must do. It’s necessary, but it’s not remotely sufficient.
“You know, we spend hundreds of millions of dollars every year exporting American democracy to other countries, and the one thing they never come back to us with is the idea that: Oh, that Electoral College that you have, that’s so great. We think we will adopt that too.
“You know, Thomas Jefferson said that he deplored the sanctimonious reverence with which some people look at the original handiwork of the framers, when they should be looking to their own experience. He said, the framers were great and they were patriots, but they didn’t have the benefit of the experience that we’ve lived.
“And we know that the Electoral College doesn’t fit anymore, which is why I’m a big supporter of the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact, where it’s bubbling up from below, but there are now 15 or 16 states and the District of Columbia who’ve said, we’re going to cast our electors for the winner of the national vote once we get 270 electors in our coalition.”
The candidate who achieves at least 270 electoral votes becomes president.
“Every American should be concerned that the Electoral College is under siege by an effort that would radicalize the U.S. political system and marginalize the voices of smaller states,” the Heritage Foundation has written.
Among its arguments in support of electors, Heritage notes:
“The Electoral College prevents presidential candidates from winning an election by focusing solely on high-population urban centers and dense media markets, forcing them to seek the support of a larger cross-section of the American electorate.
“This addresses the Founders’ fears of a “tyranny of the majority,” which has the potential to marginalize sizeable portions of the population, particularly in rural and more remote areas of the country.”
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