H.J.Res.7 - Proposing an amendment to abolish the electoral college

CAN's Congressional photo of congress member and Rep Steve Cohen

Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States to abolish the electoral college and to provide for the direct election of the President and Vice President of the United States.

You might favor this bill if:
►  You believe that a provision should be made for the direct election of the President and Vice President of the United States and the winner of a Presidential election should be determined by popular vote only. The President and Vice President should be elected by the sole vote of the people the United States and not by the electoral college.

You might oppose this bill if:
►  You believe that eliminating the electoral college could give the states with the highest populations an advantage when picking the President, which would cause candidates to lose focus on smaller states, therefore preventing smaller states from having a say in the process.
Introduced House Senate President Law

House Joint Resolution 7 would abolish the electoral college and provides the mechanism for direct election of the President and Vice President of the U.S. The President and Vice President are to be elected solely by the people of the U.S. in a “one person, one vote” system.

The times, places, and manner of holding such elections and entitlement to inclusion on the ballot shall be determined by Congress.

The electoral college dates to the Constitutional Convention of 1787, and it was an important compromise between the small and large states. The electoral college makes it unlikely that a regional candidate, popular in the urban centers, can win without appeal to other segments of our population.

The electoral college has been blamed for establishing the 2-party system currently in place, making it virtually impossible for a third-party candidate to win sufficient electoral votes. Some view this as an unfair practice while others claim it brings stability to the political environment.

“In two presidential elections since 2000 … the winner of the popular vote did not win the election because of the distorting effect of the outdated Electoral College,” says Rep. Cohen. “Americans expect and deserve the winner of the popular vote to win office.”

Amendments require a two-thirds vote in both the House of Representatives and the Senate, which is a tall hurdle, but the process has to start somewhere.

And Cohen’s has provided that starting point.

The Founders of the Nation established the electoral college in an era of limited nationwide communication and information sharing.

The electoral college is premised on an antiquated theory that citizens will have a better chance of knowing about electors from their home States than about Presidential candidates from out of State.

Thomas Jefferson wrote, “I am not an advocate for frequent changes in laws and constitutions, but laws and institutions must go hand in hand with the progress of the human mind.

As that becomes more developed, more enlightened, as new discoveries are made, new truths discovered and manners and opinions change, with the change of circumstances, institutions must advance also to keep pace with the times.

We might as well require a man to wear still the coat which fitted him when a boy as civilized society to remain ever under the regimen of their barbarous ancestors.”


Sponsored by: Rep. Cohen, Steve [D-TN-9].

See list of cosponsors.

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