Democratic Rep. Steve Cohen of Tennessee said the electoral college was “conceived in sin” and claimed it was invented to keep black people down.
“This is all conceived in sin and perpetuating slavery on the American people and on the African-American people, directly,” Cohen said on “CNN Right Now” Tuesday.
“We need to give the people who understand from town halls like Elizabeth Warren had in Memphis on Sunday and in Jackson, and I think today in Birmingham, the opportunity to vote. And as Senator Warren said, this doesn’t give the people in New York and Chicago and Los Angeles the right to decide who wins. It gives everybody that’s not in one of the — the targeted states in the Electoral College the opportunity to have their vote count.”
Cohen said people in his home state of Tennessee don’t see their vote count because the majority usually votes Republican.
“The people in New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles, Republicans and conservatives live there too and vote there as well,” he said.
“But right now people in Tennessee don’t count because we know that state’s going to go Republican. But if it’s a popular vote people will come to Tennessee to get those votes in Memphis and other places, and it’ll be a much more Democratic system and fair, and the American people need to take control of their government that’s being lost to entities that have really eliminated the middle class.”
Despite Cohen’s campaign to dissolve the electoral college, he admitted the process would be difficult and expressed doubt about getting enough votes to enact lasting change.
“It certainly would be difficult. You have to amend the Constitution and that requires getting a number of votes in Congress,” he said earlier in the interview.
“That’ll be difficult but possible. But it means to get three-quarters of the states and that’ll be difficult because enough of the states get an advantage in electing the president, that they may not want to give that up and probably won’t. A way to get around it is the compromise. Colorado and a few states have tried to start a compact to say that if states with a total of 270 or more electoral votes agree then these all states will come together and give their vote to the winner of the popular vote.”
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