Sen. Brian Schatz (D-HI) is set on Tuesday to unveil a constitutional amendment to abolish the Electoral College and allow for the election of presidents by popular vote, The Daily Beast has learned.
The amendment is supported by other Democrats in the chamber, an aide said, including Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and senior members of the Senate Judiciary Committee: Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA).
Schatz’s proposal comes on the heels of a separate bill, introduced by Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR), that would also abolish the Electoral College as part of a larger package of election reforms.
Though those efforts are not currently being merged, they do reflect a growing appetite within the Democratic Party to change the fundamental structure of America’s electoral system. President Donald Trump was the second candidate in 16 years to win the White House despite losing the popular vote. And his victory—alongside the prospects of a re-election on similar grounds—has prompted calls to abolish the Electoral College for good. Sens. Cory Booker (D-NJ), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), and Kamala Harris (D-CA) have all expressed varying degrees of support for the idea.
But that doesn’t make it likely to happen. In order for a constitutional amendment to be adopted, it must not only receive support from two-thirds of both chambers of Congress but also three-fourths of all the states.