Abrams: 'The Electoral College Is Racist'

November 15, 2019

Georgia Democrat Stacey Abrams called the Electoral College "racist" during remarks Friday at the National Press Club.

"The Electoral College is racist and classist," Abrams said. "We have to remember the Electoral College was not designed because people were worried about Idaho not having enough votes. We didn't know about Idaho. What we did know was that in the south, the populations in the south had equal or roughly equal populations to the north. However, because black people were not considered human or citizens, they wanted their bodies to count for the purposes of the population count but not their humanity."

The Electoral College was born out of that compromise, Abrams said. She added states in the north didn't want immigrants or those who were poorly educated to have a say in who picked the president either.

"It's racism and classism," she said. "Both of those things should be flung to the far reaches of history and the Electoral College needs to go."

Abrams is one of a growing number of prominent Democrats who have called for the Electoral College's abolition following President Donald Trump's victory in spite of a popular-vote loss to Hillary Clinton. Trump's win marked only the fifth time the presidential victor did not win a plurality of the popular vote.

Clinton called for the end of the Electoral College in 2017, saying it was time to "respect the will of the people." Presidential candidates like Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.) and South Bend, Ind., mayor Pete Buttigieg (D.) have also called for it to be eliminated. Such a maneuver would require the heavy lift of a constitutional amendment, making such a change unlikely any time soon, if ever.

Abrams has become a Democratic star since her narrow loss in the Georgia governor's race in 2018. She never conceded defeat, claiming Republicans and her opponent Brian Kemp engaged in systematic voter suppression. She has turned down calls to run for Senate or for president, instead focusing on her voting rights initiative.