High-Profile Attorneys Push for Change to Electoral College System - NECN
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High-Profile Attorneys Push for Change to Electoral College System

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Group Pushes for Changes to Electoral College

    Is the electoral college really a democratic system? A powerful group of attorneys is pushing for an overhaul.

    (Published Friday, Aug. 10, 2018)

    A group of attorneys is pushing for a change to the electoral college system.

    The group includes former Massachusetts Gov. William Weld, David Boies and Harvard law professor Lawrence Lessig — a 2016 Democratic presidential candidate. They say the "winner take all" method used in 48 states disenfranchises millions of voters who back the losing candidate.

    Boies, who represented former Vice President Al Gore in the 2000 Supreme Court recount case, is the lead attorney.

    "Once you know which candidate is going to get the majority of the votes, then none of the other votes count," Boies said. "And that's wrong, as a matter of constitutional law."

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    Boies argues if you're a Republican in Massachusetts or a Democrat in South Carolina, you know your vote for president isn't going to count.

    "Which is why the candidates don't campaign vigorously in Massachusetts or California or Texas or South Carolina. Or, in fact, most of the states," he explained.

    Massachusetts Secretary of State William Galvin is one of those opposed to the change, along with Gov. Charlie Baker and Attorney General Maura Healy. He thinks it is a bad and dangerous idea.

    "At a time in the country where the country is so divided and this election is so contentious and the political climate is so extreme, I think it's the last thing you want to do is put uncertainty into the process," he said.

    Galvin, who prefers the popular vote to the electoral college system, wonders what would happen to a state that hypothetically had three electoral votes if the losing candidate gets 40 percent of the state-wide vote.

    "What percentage of the electoral college in that particular state do you give them?" he asked. "Do you start voting half electoral votes, percentages of electoral votes?"

    Galvin is also uncomfortable with the attorneys' push to have this finished by 2020.

    "This is not about any particular individual," Boies said. "It's not about any particular party. It is about making our democracy work better."

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