How to Make Every Vote Count—With or Without a Constitutional Amendment

Today, Senators Brian Schatz, Dick Durbin, Dianne Feinstein, and Kirsten Gillibrand introduced a constitutional amendment to abolish the Electoral College. 

This is not the first time such an amendment has been introduced. The constitutional amendment process is long and arduous.  But there is another way to change the system: states could agree to give their electoral votes to the winner of the national popular vote through the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact. Some have criticized the Compact as an end-run around the Constitution. To the contrary, the Constitution specifically gives states the right to allocate their electors as they see fit. Further, as Seth Masket explains for Vox, the states have already moved far away from the original system the founders envisioned:

Indeed, the way that the Electoral College is currently implemented and has been practiced over the past two centuries bears little similarity to the way the founders originally described it. This is no council of elites carefully deliberating over the ideal president; electors, with very few exceptions, simply vote the way their states’ voters did, in many cases risking legal penalty for not doing so. This was an adaptation of the Constitution, not an amendment to it.