Former Vice President Al Gore has very publicly joined the call for the United States to eliminate the Electoral College and instead have our President directly elected by a national popular vote like a sane democracy. From the Huffington Post:
In a discussion during Current TV’s coverage of the Republican National Convention, Gore and his co-panelists argued that Electoral College system had a corrosive effect on the power of votes and presidential leadership. For voters, casting ballots in a state that is predictably red or blue feels pointless in determining presidential elections. For leaders, visiting a state that is already in the bag for Republicans or Democrats seems unnecessary.
“I really do now think that it’s time to change that,” Gore said. “It’s always tough to amend the Constitution and risky to do so, but there is a very interesting movement under way that takes it state by state, that may really have a chance of succeeding. I hope it does.”
Obviously there are few people who personally better understand the stupidity of the Electoral College than Al Gore who won the popular vote in 2000 but lost the election since he did not carry enough states to get to 270 electoral votes.
The 2000 election, though, wasn’t an isolated incident, it has happened three other times in American history. Given that there has only been 56 Presidential elections, that means in over seven percent of elections the candidate most Americans voted for did not become President.
To truly eliminate the Electoral College would be take a constitutional amendment, but it can essentially be replaced with a national popular vote rather easily using only an interstate compact. That is what the National Popular Vote campaign has been rather successfully working towards. Once states with 270 electoral college votes sign on to the compact, all the signatures agree to give all their electoral college votes to the winner of the national popular vote. The Electoral College would technically still exist but be a non-factor. It would be merely a vestigial entity only to rubber stamp the popular vote winner.
Currently the National Popular Vote is halfway towards their goal. They already have eight states, plus DC, with 132 electoral votes signed on.