Sen. Eric Lesser files bill calling for abolition of Electoral College

  • State Sen. Eric Lesser, D-Longmeadow, chats with seniors at the Friends of Granby's Elderly summer picnic held at Dufresne Park earlier this year. FILE PHOTO

@cmlindahl
Published: 11/21/2016 9:21:14 AM

BOSTON — State Sen. Eric Lesser hopes to put the weight of the Massachusetts Legislature behind a call to abolish the Electoral College.

Lesser, a Longmeadow Democrat, filed a resolution Tuesday that would call on the U.S. Congress to get rid of the Electoral College to allow the direct election of the president by popular vote.

The move comes after President-elect Donald Trump won the electoral vote in the Nov. 8 general election, while his former rival Hillary Clinton won the popular vote by some 1.57 million votes, according to the latest Associated Press count.

“It has now been twice in 16 years, and five times total in American history, that a president and vice president have been elected by winning a majority of the Electoral College, despite the fact that they lost the national popular vote,” Lesser said in a statement. “Given the importance of empowering voters to believe every vote counts in a presidential election, the repeal of the Electoral College merits a thorough discussion and examination.”

Lesser’s bill instructs the clerks of the state Senate and House of Representatives to send the resolution to the U.S. president, vice president, speaker of the House, the House minority leader, the Senate president pro tempore and to each member of the Massachusetts congressional delegation. 

Getting rid of the Electoral College would require an amendment to the Constitution. Calls to abolish the Electoral College have grown since Trump’s victory. U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer earlier this month introduced a bill to abolish the system and several online petitions are calling for its elimination.

Chris Lindahl can be reached at clindahl@gazettenet.com


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