Muslim Times(Web Desk) – The US Electoral College is a vestige of slavery and needs to be abolished altogether, says Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a Democratic socialist who is running to represent New York’s 14th Congressional District.
“It is well past time we eliminate the Electoral College, a shadow of slavery’s power on America today that undermines our nation as a democratic republic,” Ocasio-Cortez wrote on Twitter shortly after the US Senate confirmed Judge Brett Kavanaugh as a justice of the Supreme Court.
The US government’s website states that the Electoral College was established because “the nation’s founders saw it as a compromise between electing the President by a popular vote among citizens and electing the President in Congress.”
This means that the winner of a US presidential election is ultimately decided by 538 electors across different states based on each state’s representation in Congress. To win, a candidate needs to get at least 270 votes.
Almost all of the 50 US states, except for Maine and Nebraska, use the “winner-take-all” basis, which means the candidate with the most popular votes should get the most electoral votes as well.
However, there is a major flaw to this process as sometimes the candidate with the most popular vote would still lose the race to the candidate with the most electoral vote.
Ocasio-Cortez’s tweet came in response to remarks by a GQ Magazine journalist, who had criticized the Electoral College for electing Trump and former President George W. Bush and giving them the power to appoint Supreme Court justices despite losing the popular vote to their Democratic rivals.
Last week, the US Senate narrowly voted to confirm Brett Kavanaugh, Trump’s pick for the high court, as the fifth Republican-leaning justice on the nine-judge panel.
Kavanaugh is the second SC justice appointed by Trump. His first pick, Neil Gorsuch, was confirmed for the bench in April last year.
This is while Trump won the 2016 presidential race by defeating Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton in a landslide 304-227 Electoral College victory while she won the popular vote by around three million.
Bush also won the 2000 White House face-off with then Vice President Al Gore by the way of electoral votes. He managed to appoint two SC justices during his two terms in the White House.
Ocasio-Cortez is not the first Democrat pushing to do away with the Electoral College.
Hillary Clinton made a similar call in an article published by The Atlantic last month, saying that the “legitimacy” of the US election system was in doubt.
“And you won’t be surprised to hear that I passionately believe it’s time to abolish the Electoral College,” she wrote.