Some Jan. 6 Committee Members Say Electoral College Should Be Scrapped

The House select committee investigating the January 6 Capitol attack will likely make a series of recommendations on how to avoid further attempted overthrows of power in the future — but one proposal apparently has the committee split.

Many members of the committee believe that lawmakers should consider abolishing the Electoral College entirelyto prevent similar violence over the coming years. According to reporting from, the idea is being supported by many people. AxiosRep. Jamie Raskin (D.Maryland) is the one who is referring to it. However, some are still skeptical of the proposal. Rep. Liz Cheney, a Republican hailing from Wyoming, is one such person. If the Electoral College system were to be ended, Wyoming’s low-population state could lose a lot of political power.

If the U.S. switched to a popular vote model, the president and vice president would be selected by voters across the country overall, rather than through electors in state-by-state contests that can sometimes thwart the will of the national electorate (as happened in 2016, when former President Donald Trump won office) Ending the Electoral College would also ensure that a scheme to game the system, like the one devised by Trump’s inner circle in late 2020, couldn’t result in a blatant disregard of voters’ preferences.

Trump lost both the popular and electoral vote to President Joe Biden in 2020. His campaign team, which included Rudy Giuliani, his former lawyer, devised a plan to win. In states where Biden won, fake Trump voters were produced, hoping that they’d be counted instead in the certification of the election on January 6, 2021 — the same day a mob of Trump loyalists attacked the Capitol building.

One of the main reasons that plan never came to fruition is because Trump’s vice president, Mike Pence, refused to go along with it. On the day the election was set to be certified,Trump made it explicitly clear to his followers that Pence had gone against his wishes — and they responded by They shouted for Pence’s execution as they pushed their way into Capitol building.

Sources speaking to AxiosAccording to Raskin, the January 6 committee members believe that ending Electoral College and instituting a popular voter model could help prevent such scenarios in the near future. But other members, Cheney in particular, are against such moves, claiming that, if the committee were to endorse ending the Electoral College, it could delegitimize the panel’s work overall.

It seems unlikely that the committee will call for an end of the Electoral College, despite its efforts to present a united front in all its operations. It is more likely that the two factions will work together to recommend changes to Electoral Count Act. This law was manipulated by Trump’s campaign to keep him in power through the counting fake electors.

Many prominent conservative voices have suggested in the past that calls to end Electoral College should be stopped only arise when Democrats loseThis was the case in 2000 when George W. Bush won the election with no popular vote and 2016 when Trump did the exact same. But in reality, the exact opposite is true; typically, a majority of Americans support abolishing the Electoral College no matter what year it is, and dips in support for doing so usually come from conservatives, as the system’s continued use has benefited Republicans twice in the past quarter-century.

Polling from Gallup showed consistent support for getting rid of the Electoral College from both parties — including increases in support from Republican voters — from the time of Bush’s win in 2000 up to Trump’s win in 2016. In that year, however, Republicans’ support for abolishing the Electoral College dropped by 36 percentage points from the previous time Gallup polled on the question, while support for ending the practice remained consistent among Democrats.

A Pew Research poll from last yearThe majority of Americans (55%) support ending the Electoral College. While most Republicans still want to keep the Electoral College intact, 37% of Republicans supported ending the practice. However, when Gallup asked that question in 2019, only 25% of Republicans supported its abolition.

Trump was a staunch defender of his Electoral College victory throughout his presidency. However, he also expressed support for its end shortly after his win. He only changed his mind when it became apparent that he might have had to rely upon the mechanism to win reelection.

“I’m not going to change my mind just because I won,” Trump insisted on CBS’s “60 Minutes” days after he won in 2016. “But I would rather see it where you went with simple votes. You know, you get 100 million votes and somebody else gets 90 million votes and you win.”

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