Assemblyman Evan Low Leads Push to Abolish Electoral College

State Assemblyman Evan Low, like many people, freaked on Election Night, as most states went red in favor of President-elect Donald Trump. In a tweet that was kinda-sorta joking, Low suggested he would introduce legislation to begin California’s secession from the union. He has since come to his senses and dropped the #CalExit talk. Now, Low simply wants to abolish the Electoral College, which was established in 1787. Hillary Clinton defeated Trump in last month’s popular election by 2.7 million votes and counting, making this the second time in 16 years that a candidate won the popular vote for president and still managed to lose. In a resolution co-authored by two state senators and 11 fellow Assembly members, including the South Bay’s recently sworn-in freshmen, Ash Kalra and Marc Berman, Low wants the state Legislature to encourage Congress to send states a constitutional amendment that would elect the president and vice president by a popular vote. Three-quarters of the 50 states would need to ratify such an amendment, which was actually proposed last week by California’s soon-to-retire U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer. It’s not clear if Boxer’s successor, Kamala Harris, is willing to carry the baton on such a move. “The system fundamentally favors small states,” Low said, “but at the same time we should ensure that we adhere to the Constitution: one person, one vote.” The fact that Kalra is already working with Low and neighboring districts should be a welcome sign for people living in Assembly District 27, whose former representative, Assemblywoman Nora Campos, had a history of ... well, a lot of things. Many thought Kalra would become a successor to county Democratic Party Chairman Steve Preminger, but Kalra scored a surprisingly strong victory last month over Madison Nguyen. Names being considered to fill the county Democratic Central Committee’s top spot include Vice Chairman Bill James, former UFCW union rep Tony Alexander and even former U.S. Rep. Mike Honda.

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36 Comments

  1. Like many others, Assemblymember Low seems not to know about the National Popular Vote compact between states:

    http://www.nationalpopularvote.com/

    A couple of brilliant law professors conceived of the compact as a way to effectively abolish the electoral college without amending the Constitution:

    http://writ.news.findlaw.com/amar/20011228.html

    The compact could go into effect with only about half of the states rather than three-quarters. California has already joined.

    • The National Vote compact is a good idea and one that would work on principle, assuming you could actually get the states to abide by it over the long-term. Because that’s not realistic, the better long-term solution is to properly reform the electoral college through a process of constitutional amendment. Reform – NOT ELIMINATE! We must find a way to re-apportion the delegates to reflect the real population distribution of our great nation, alongside the elimination of the winner-take-all process by which many states assign electors. It is not acceptable for rural voters in remote parts of our country to hold four times the say about who gets to be president than those of us living in dense urban centers, but to eliminate the electoral college would create more problems than it solves in the short term and lead, I think, to electoral chaos (in terms of the multitude of lawsuits and challenges, etc, that would inevitably erupt), rather than the more orderly and more equitable solution we should all favor.

  2. It would be more effective for Low to work with the national Democratic Party and others like former state senator Tom Campbell to get more states into the compact.

  3. What these dumbbells don’t realize is that if the rules for “winning” the election were different, Trump would have run a different campaign.

    Trump, for example, would have vigorously campaigned in New York (his home state) and in other popular vote rich states like California and Texas. Plus, he would likely have vigorously challenged “illegal voting” by non citizens.

    It is simply stupidity for Democrats to imagine they have a lock on the popular vote. The Republicans own the majority of popularly elected congressional seats, the majority of popularly elected state governors, and the majority of state legislative chambers.

    It’s really absurd: Democrats believe in “democracy” only when they win. When they lose, they’re against “democracy”.

    • I think you raise some good points here, SJ, but your comment seems to ignore the salient point. Do you believe that it’s okay for rural voters to have four times the say in who occupies the white house than those of us who live in urban centers? Yes or no?

      • SJ, I gave you some credit in my previous comment, but I do want to call you out for being part of the problem in this sense – Don’t you think you could have made your points much better if you had not resorted to childish name-calling? Maybe Trump’s real slogan should have been ‘Make America Middle School Again’.

      • LP could you please show your evidence that rural voters have 4 times the voting power of urban voters.

      • Yes. The framers of the Constitution understood that the mob rule of a true “democracy” was just as a dangerous threat to the liberty of all.

        And rural votes didn’t account for 4x the amount. Clinton only received less than 3% more votes.

        But either way it doesn’t matter. This is why we live in a Republic not a true democracy.

  4. Here is Mr. Low, who was dismissive of the popular vote when California voters repeatedly voted against gay marriage, now suddenly a staunch supporter of one person, one vote. What a pathetic example of a narcissistic public legislator blinded by his own bias.

    • Yep… And even though I am against gay marriage, your point speaks directly to the reason FOR the electoral college. A “democracy”, or “mobocracry” as they put it, can trample liberty just as easy.

      If “popular vote” ruled, we’d have a very different country. And one that people who are upset at Trump’s victory don’t understand is actually protecting them and their rights as well.

      • Imagine there is only majority rule, except five judges overrule all the vote’s, and a guy with a pen and a phone makes all the rules. Oh crap!

    • Democrats, a party of majorly senseless emotionally driven fools echoing each other with their “common sense” BS. If you really look at all the things they’ve claimed to be “common sense”, then you’ll mainly see idiocy their thining and reasoning.

  5. Had Hillary won, you may be assured that neither Mr. Low nor any other Democrat would have advocated secession from the Union or abolishing the Electoral College, nor would Jill Stein or others who represent a miniscule fringe have called for recounts. The Founding Fathers anticipated that professional politicians who incorrectly call themselves public servants would act this way, and they also were justly suspicious of democracy, which is why they established The Electoral College. The USA is and always has been a Republic, not a Democracy. Our Pledge of Allegiance does not contain the phrase “and to the Democracy for which it stands”.

  6. Wow if we go back to just the popular vote, Gay marriage goes away week one!
    Maybe you should rethink the whole thing Mr Low!

  7. I posted a comment about ten hours ago that has yet to appear. So, I thought perhaps I hadn’t posted it, so I tried again and received a message that it was a duplicate comment. Prior restraint.

    • JMO’C,

      Same thing happened to me this weekend. I emailed my complaint, Josh Koehn replied and suggested it was censored because it included a particular word (which it didn’t and was unrelated to the topic). This has the mark of faulty software rather than malice, but that doesn’t make it any less annoying.

      • Thanks, FinFan, but there are no such words in my proposed post either. I’ll take it up with Josh.

        • I emailed Josh. It has now appeared, further up the line, noted as the time of my original post.

      • > it was censored because it included a particular word

        Oh great! Now you’re going to start a guessing game over what the offending word was.

        “Racism”?

        “Homophobia”?

        “Xenophobia”?

        “White supremacy”?

  8. I’d prefer Mr. Low get his first wish- California secedes thus losing it’s ability to f**k up the rest of the country.

  9. This is such a typical short sorted “react to the moment” type move.

    When Democrats thought (up until middle of the day on Election Day this November) that the electoral college helped us then we were all for it. I remember all the lectures about “Romney has no pathway to victory” in Obama 2012 – the basic argument was that the popular vote doesn’t matter because the map favors us.

    Now that it went the other way, the whining begins. Maybe the ‘political professional’ in HRC land should have spent less money on TV ads that didn’t work while the Michigan Democratic Party had to raise its own money for GOTV. When a GOP candidate wins the popular vote by crushing us in the “flyover states” (to use a douchebag term) then the whining from my side will happen in the other direction.

    Why doesn’t Evan instead encourage Democrats in this area to write letters and cal Senators Donnelly, Heitkamp, and/or Manchin to ensure these folks facing pressure from Trump’s coalition in their states will stay loyal to Schumer’s filibuster (the main move w/ any power that Dems have at a national level)?

    • Yes, the myth of the “blue wall” of a minimum of 242 electoral votes going Dem was busted by this election, where HRC got only 232.

  10. Hillary benefited from the Electoral College. A quarter of the states she won are among the ten least populated. A sixth, Hawaii, barely emerged from the bottom ten. She also won the micro”state”, the District of Columbia. No, doing away with the Electoral College is not the answer. What is?
    Hillary’s support was limited* to the fringes of this country: the Northeast, the Middle Atlantic, and the Left Coast. Let her be the President of those states, and let Trump govern the remaining heartland.
    *Except for her home state of Illinois, Minnesota, Colorado, and New Mexico.

  11. Remember that the US is a federation of sovereign states, and that Hillary won only 20 states and DC. Should we ignore the will of the majority of states’ citizens to privilege only three states’ citizens? (California, New York and Illinois).
    And what about the Senate? That was installed so that each state had equal say, regardless of population. Do away with the Senate as well? Then what would Kamala Harris do?

    • Now you’re throwing facts around like they mattered more than the losers feeling, you could be deported to a red state for that crime!

  12. I say lets go forward with “jump on every bandwagon traveling down the street” Assemblyman Low’s proposal for California’s succession from the Union legislation. If nothing else it would rid the Union of a huge majority of whiners and hand wringing politicians.
    Note: Low introduced legislation earlier this year to let his financial backers at ATT to essentially eliminate land line telephone service in California’s rural areas. What a worm!
    God Bless the United States of America!

  13. I bet he wouldn’t say anything if Hillary had won the Electoral College. I’m glad my vote finally counted. I’m tired of living in Calfornia and letting the Left Coast pick our government. It’s a new day! Yippee!

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