The fact that U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer has introduced a bill that calls for a Constitutional Amendment {CA} to abolish the Electoral College [EC] should be dismissed as post-election grand-standing. She must know how difficult it is to effect a CA and get three-quarters of all 50 states to go along. For 10 states have already shown us the way without a CA. All any state needs to do is to bring its electors in line with the popular vote by dividing its electors accordingly. This requires a majority vote favoring a bill calling for such division to be passed by any state legislature.

Take California, for example. If the popular vote registers 60 percent for the Democrat and 40 percent for the Republican, then the state's 55 electors would be assigned in those proportions – 33 for the Democratic candidate and 22 for the Republican. The overall result, if all states were to do this would be just what reformers want to see. The national victor would be that candidate with the most popular votes. The 10 leaders have joined together in an the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact that other states are invited to join.

For better or worse, this doesn't promise the instant solution [like right now!] that reformers seem to prefer. Progress on this front towards resolution would likely be faster than for the CA approach, but there's no promise that reformers' perfect solution would result. Some states might balk even after more than half got on board. So, most likely, we'd end up with less than 100 percent of states favoring the popular vote arrangement.

Nevertheless, the good news would be greater than good on the popular front. Presidential elections would increasingly be determined by the national popular vote majority. Who knows, however, but that in some such election, the EC holdouts might still influence a wiser choice?

Peter Bearse Ph.D.

Founding chairman, A People's and Citizens' Congress