Election 2020

Rangel on Bill to Abolish Electoral College: 'You Don't Even Know That You Never Voted for Hillary'

Rangel on Bill to Abolish Electoral College: 'You Don't Even Know That You Never Voted for Hillary'
Rep. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.) waits to take his seat at a House Ways and Means Committee hearing on Feb. 11, 2016.(AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-N.Y.) said today that he would have introduced his legislation to abolish the Electoral College even if Hillary Clinton had won.

Rangel’s bill, introduced last week as companion legislation to a similar measure sponsored by Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), proposes a constitutional amendment that would have to be ratified by the legislatures of three-fourths of the states within seven years of passage.

At the time, Rangel said “the fact that a candidate can receive more votes than the other but lose the election is fundamentally undemocratic.”

He is retiring at the end of this Congress after serving 23 terms in office.

Tuesday night on Fox, the congressman said his legislation “is the opposite of what would benefit Hillary Clinton because it was put into place, and I’m certain you know it, it was put into place to control the popular vote and to superimpose a group of people to prevent demagogues from hoodwinking the American people.”

“And so I’ve been involved in every civil rights struggle. So, naturally, I am for one man, one vote. But as you know well, when you find some small states that have two members of the Senate and one Congress person, and they have the same ratio in terms of elected votes, than a popular state like New York and California,” Rangel said, adding he introduced the bill “to let the Americans know we still have not elected or voted for a president.”

“It’s no longer that the majority wins. How many people don’t even know — they’ve never even voted for Clinton or Trump. And so I think this is an educational process for a system that the reasons no longer exist… my wife asked me ‘why are you doing this’ and I said ‘because you don’t even know that you never voted for Hillary.'”

Rangel argued that abolishing the Electoral College wouldn’t take away the voice of less wealthy rural areas and consolidate power in the coasts. “States like Texas that they know are red, or no, was thought to be red, and so the candidates for president of the United States, they know that Democratic states that traditionally vote Democrat, they don’t even go there,” he said. “The same thing with Republicans, they go to the red states. And so you find the battleground states, the smallest states, the rural states are where the campaign really begins.”

“And I’m not saying all of this is wrong. I’m just saying 98 percent of American people have no clue… I think it’s terrifically exciting to see what the heck were these guys thinking when they put together this constitutional provision.”

Boxer, who is retiring at the end of this Congress, cited a 2012 Donald Trump tweet — “The electoral college is a disaster for a democracy” — when introducing her bill.

“I couldn’t agree more,” she said. “One person, one vote!”