brookings.edu

Copyright 2019

October 15, 2019

It’s time to abolish the Electoral College

North Carolina Electoral College representatives sign the Certificates of Vote after they all cast their ballots for U.S. President-elect Donald Trump in the State Capitol building in Raleigh, North Carolina, U.S., December 19, 2016.     REUTERS/Jonathan Drake - RC12F8CC65F0

Summary

Darrell West, vice president and director of Governance Studies at Brookings, argues that we must abolish the Electoral College and move to direct election of the president. West reviews several contested presidential elections in which the Electoral College winner lost the popular vote, and calls attention to the ways high income inequality and geographic disparities across states accentuate the problems of the Electoral College and threaten the electoral legitimacy of the system. Offering some ideas for a way forward, West notes different avenues for getting rid of the Electoral College.