During a CNN town hall Monday night in Mississippi—where GOP laws and suppression tactics have disproportionately harmed black voters—Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) said the best way to strengthen voting rights nationwide is to amend the U.S. Constitution and abolish the Electoral College.
“I believe we need a constitutional amendment that protects the right to vote for every American citizen and to make sure that vote gets counted,” the Massachusetts senator and 2020 presidential contender said to applause. “We need to put some federal muscle behind that, and we need to repeal every one of the voter suppression laws that [are] out there right now.”
“We need to make sure that every vote counts….Come a general election, presidential candidates don’t come to places like Mississippi,” Warren continued. “My view is that every vote matters, and the way we can make that happen is that we can have national voting and that means get rid of the Electoral College, and every vote counts.”
Warren’s support for abolishing the Electoral College comes as the National Popular Vote movement is gaining steam, with a number of states passing legislation to award their delegates to the presidential candidate who wins the popular vote.
“When you’ve got a government that works for the rich and it’s not working nearly as well for anyone else, that’s corruption, and we need to call it out plain and simple.”
—Sen. Elizabeth Warren
“Every Democrat running for president in 2020 should be standing alongside Elizabeth Warren in calling to eliminate the Electoral College so the popular vote determines the next president—and pass a constitutional amendment to guarantee the right of every American to vote,” the Progressive Change Campaign Committee (PCCC), which is backing Warren in the Democratic presidential primary, said in an email to supporters.
Warren’s call for bold voting rights reforms is part of her broad and substantive policy agenda, which is aimed at transforming the federal government to ensure its power is used on behalf of ordinary people, not massive corporations and the wealthy.
“Washington is working great, it’s working fabulously, for giant drug companies,” Warren said during the town hall. “It’s just not working for people who are trying to get a prescription filled. It’s working great for big oil companies that want to drill everywhere. It’s just not working for people who see climate change bearing down upon us. It’s working great for giant financial institutions and for payday lenders. It’s just not working great for people who are living paycheck to paycheck.”
To ensure that Washington works for all Americans and not just the donor class and powerful companies, Warren—who has vowed to reject campaign donations from lobbyists and PACs—said “we need big structural change in this country.”
“When you’ve got a government that works for the rich and it’s not working nearly as well for anyone else, that’s corruption, and we need to call it out plain and simple,” the Massachusetts senator said, pointing to her sweeping anti-corruption legislation that would—among other major reforms—bar members of Congress from receiving donations from lobbyists and completely ban foreign lobbying.
Warren went on to highlight America’s soaring wealth and income inequality and call for a total rewrite of the nation’s economic rules.
“Part of that is putting more power back in the hands of workers,” Warren said.
The senator said imposing higher taxes on the richest Americans is another essential and way to curb inequality and fund major items on the progressive agenda.
“We get a two percent tax on the 75,000 richest families in this country,” Warren said, pointing to her “Ultra-Millionaire Tax” proposal, “we would have enough money to provide universal child care, universal pre-K, universal pre-pre-K for every child in America and still have two trillion dollars left over.”
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