Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
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'The Electoral College has to go'
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) called for the Electoral College to be abolished, saying the system is a "scam" that disproportionately values the votes of white people over those of people of color, according to The Hill.
Ocasio-Cortez was commenting on the Electoral College in an Instagram video shot while driving through a remote area.
"Many votes here, as you can see," she said.
The freshman congresswoman made the argument that the states that benefit most from the Electoral College are states with higher percentages of white voters, and that a popular vote system where every vote counts equally would be more fair.
"Due to severe racial disparities in certain states, the Electoral College effectively weighs white voters over voters of color, as apposed to a 'one person, one vote' system where all our votes are counted equally," Ocasio-Cortez said.
Abolishing the Electoral College is becoming an increasingly popular idea among top Democrats. President Donald Trump lost the 2016 popular vote by millions, but won the election, and some Democrats fear that the Democratic nominee could have an even greater popular vote lead and yet still lose.
"Every vote matters, and the way we can make that happen is that we can have national voting, and that means get rid of the Electoral College," Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) said in March.
Lawmakers in some states are pushing legislation that would bind the states to allocate their Electoral College votes to the winner of the national popular vote.
Those who oppose abolishing the Electoral College point out that a straight popular vote would give a heavy share of electoral influence to the largest states, leaving less incentive for candidates to campaign in or cater to smaller ones.
Proponents of the abolishing the electoral college regularly point out the fairness of every vote counting equally, but do not often address the potential implications popular vote elections would have on the two-party system — namely, that the two-party system would not likely continue to exist without the Electoral College.
That means a popular vote system would likely create more, albeit different, types of underrepresentation in elections. Michael Brendan Dougherty writes for the National Review:
The breakdown of the two-party system would ruin the other argument for abolishing the Electoral College. Some advocates of a national plebiscite say that eliminating the College will increase the power of Democratic voters in deep-red states, and of Republican voters in deep-blue states. But this is almost certainly wrong. The likeliest result is that conservative rural voters in New York and California will be even more disenfranchised from the system. A national plebiscite will dramatically enhance the power of the largest and most concentrated media markets, at the expense of swing states.
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