Flashback: Graham Challenger Jaime Harrison Compared Electoral College to Slavery

May 30, 2019

Jaime Harrison, a Democrat who formally announced he was challenging Sen. Lindsey Graham (R., S.C.) on Wednesday, compared the Electoral College to black people only being counted as three-fifths of a person back in 2017, saying, "Sometimes things have to change."

Harrison was speaking during his unsuccessful bid to be Democratic National Committee chair when he made his comments about how the 2016 election convinced him it was time to do away with the Electoral College.

"Hillary Clinton had 3 million more votes than Donald Trump," Harrison said during a February 2017 candidate forum. "In what other competition have you ever engaged in that you could have 3 million more of anything and still lose. It is here in this country first and foremost we need to deal with the Electoral College. That is an issue."

"I understand the historical context for why we had it. Well you know some things have to change," Harrison continued. "The Constitution also talked about the African-American being only a percentage of a person. That had to change. It is now time to change the Electoral College in this country and go towards the popular vote. People have lost faith and they have lost trust."

In addition to his comments during the forum, Harrison vocally supported the elimination of the Electoral College twice on Twitter earlier this year.

"I agree with @RepCohen 100% We should look at eliminating the electoral college! It diminishes the confidence of voters & devalues their vote," Harrison tweeted. "In no other competition other than golf can you get the lowest score and win!"

Harrison, the first black chairman of the South Carolina Democratic Party, formally announced his candidacy on Wednesday with a rollout of a campaign video that tied Graham to President Donald Trump, saying he can't lead because he "traded his moral compass for petty political gain."