In congratulating president-elect Joe Biden on Monday, former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton publicly called for the Electoral College to be abolished and advocated for the presidential election to be decided by the popular vote.
"I believe we should abolish the Electoral College and select our president by the winner of the popular vote, same as every other office," Clinton tweeted Monday. "But while it still exists, I was proud to cast my vote in New York for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris."
The Electoral College upheld Biden's victory over President Donald Trump on Tuesday, as he received the expected 306 electoral votes he won in the 2020 election. Clinton served as one of the 29 electors from the state of New York who cast their vote for Biden on Monday.
I believe we should abolish the Electoral College and select our president by the winner of the popular vote, same as every other office.— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) December 14, 2020
But while it still exists, I was proud to cast my vote in New York for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. pic.twitter.com/th9qebu9ka
Trump defeated Clinton in the 2016 presidential election by winning 306 electoral votes to Clinton's 232. However, Clinton beat Trump in the popular vote by nearly 3 million votes.
Clinton ran up vote totals in liberal-leaning states like New York and California but narrowly lost Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin by a total of about 100,000 votes.
Since 2000, Democrats have won the popular vote in five of six presidential elections. But in that span, the Democratic candidate has only won three times.
The growing political divide in the electoral college has prompted some Democrats to call for an end to the electoral college and allow the president to be elected by popular vote.
President is the only political office in the United States where the winner was not determined by popular vote. Up until 1913, U.S. senators were chosen by state legislatures, but that changed with the ratification of the 17th Amendment.
In order to abolish the Electoral College, Democrats could pursue a Constitutional amendment similar to the 17th Amendment, though it would require the ratification of two-thirds of state legislatures — a tall task, considering that Republicans control most state governments.
Some Democrats have also floated "packing" the Supreme Court with liberal justices and attempting to pass legislation that would abolish the Electoral College — a Constitutional but norm-shattering option, and a scenario that would still require appointed justice's approval.
However, a number of states have already signed on to a third option — the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact (NPVIC). It's a coalition of states who have promised to award Electoral College delegates to the winner of the electoral colleges — only on the condition that enough states sign on to the agreement so that their electoral value reaches 270. It's a legal option, considering the Constitution says states are free to award their delegates as they see fit and wouldn't need approval from Congress or the Supreme Court.
So far, 15 states and D.C. have agreed to the NPVIC. However, those states' Electoral votes only total 196, meaning they need several states to come aboard before it could be enacted.