An Open Letter to Senator Barbara Boxer
Dear Senator Boxer:
Along with many of your other constituents, I was surprised to hear that you have introduced a bill that would abolish the Electoral College.
Perhaps you have forgotten Article Two of our Constitution that states:
“Citizens of the United States vote in each state at a general election to choose a slate of “electors” pledged to vote for a party’s candidate. The candidates who receive an absolute majority of electoral votes among the states are elected President and Vice-President of the United States when the Electoral College vote is certified by Congress.”
Apparently, you are proposing to amend the Constitution, to meet your desired political outcomes. As you know amending the Constitution is possible, though a path to ratifying an amendment is deliberately long and difficult. Since 1789 there have been 11,539 proposed amendments, and only 27 have become part of the Constitution.
To propose a Constitutional amendment, the Congress must send it to the State Legislatures for a decision. For the Senate and the House to request a vote by the Legislatures, the proposal must pass by two-thirds (a supermajority) vote of both chambers of Congress. Alternatively, Congress can call for a National Convention, which also requires a two-thirds supermajority and request participation of two-thirds of the State Legislatures.
If Congress achieves the supermajority and requires the States to vote on a proposed amendment, three-fourths of the states (38) would have to pass the amendment to ratify it.
An amendment that scraps the Electoral College would effectively disenfranchise thirty-eight states and effectively leave California and New York voters to choose most future presidents. Few legislatures would vote to effectively relinquish their political power to produce this outcome.
I’m sure that you would not want to take your party onto that multi-year, quixotic path to defeat. Perhaps then, you are part of that fringe group that believes that strict adherence to the Consitution is an out-of-date concept.
Many of us—probably a majority—would respectfully disagree with that notion. Now, more than ever before, America needs a compass to guide our future. Progressives and Conservatives alike need the protection of a single authoritative framework of laws to prevent knee-jerk political machinations that would harm us, set one group against the other, and create chaos. We have already seen how partisan politics can cripple our government. Imagine an America without the Constitution of the United States as its moral guidepost.
Very truly yours,