Abolish The Electoral College

We Need to Directly Elect Presidents


Idea: A constitutional amendment to directly elect presidents by popular vote.

Problem: The Electoral College has been corrupted by the two-party system.

  • That’s why most elections are a choice between two unpopular candidates.

Trend: We’re about to have the least popular presidential election ever.

  • 2024 (Projected): Biden (41% Approve) vs. Trump (35% Approve).
  • 2016 (Previous Low): H. Clinton (47% Approve) vs. Trump (36% Approve).

History: We’ve been close to abolishing the Electoral College but never got it done.

  • In 1802, Alexander Hamilton drafted an amendment to fix the Electoral College.
    • But he died in 1804 before completing its ratification.
  • In 1969, a national popular vote amendment passed 339-70 with bipartisan support.
    • But just 36 senators were able to block this amendment via filibuster.

Solution: Create a nationwide campaign to finally pass a popular vote amendment.

  • Social, political, and demographic changes now make it possible to abolish the Electoral College.
    • 2025 is the perfect timing to focus on passing this amendment nationwide.


The Electoral College no longer serves its intended purpose.

It was designed for a time before telecommunications. 

  • The average citizen in 1787 didn’t have access to information about out-of-state candidates.
    • Hamilton worried that a popular vote would lead to everyone voting for local politicians.
  • Now presidential candidates can broadcast directly online to every American live for free.
    • Lack of information is no longer an excuse for our indirect election of presidents.

Alexander Hamilton’s original idea for the Electoral College actually has some merit.

  • Electors were supposed to be independent, unbiased representatives of the people who had the time and information needed to carefully deliberate on who would be the best president.
  • But the Constitution left key loopholes that state parties quickly exploited to corrupt the electors and make them partisan lackeys.

Here is how the Electoral College was supposed to work:

  1. Each state chooses a small number of independent electors by popular vote.
    • These electors can’t hold federal office, so they’re supposed to be unbiased.
  2. Those electors carefully research all presidential candidates and vote using this knowledge.
  3. If no one candidate got the majority of the Electoral College votes, the House elects the President.
    • They must choose among the top five candidates, with each state delegation casting one vote.

“A small number of persons, selected by their fellow-citizens from the general mass, will be most likely to possess the information and discernment requisite to such complicated investigations.” — Alexander Hamilton, Federalist Papers #68, “The Mode of Electing the President”

But the Constitution leaves the selection of electors to the states, who quickly corrupted step 1.

  • By the early 1800s, all states adopted partisan systems where each party picks its own electors.
    • These electors are required to pledge their votes in advance to their party’s nominees.
  • Now if electors vote independently, they are called faithless and subject to penalties under state law.

Hamilton saw this problem and drafted an amendment in 1802 to fix the Electoral College.

  • But his famous death in a duel with Aaron Burr in 1804 ended this path to reform.
  • James Madison later admitted that the Constitutional Convention got the Electoral College wrong and drafted his own amendment to fix the Electoral College.
    • The Senate approved this amendment four times, but it got blocked by the House.

The closest we’ve gotten to a national popular vote for President was 1970.

  • The Bayh-Celler Amendment was introduced in 1969 after Nixon won the Electoral College by a 301-191 margin in 1968 but only won the popular vote by 0.6% (43.5% to 42.9%).
    • This amendment passed the House with strong bipartisan support on a vote of 339 to 70.
    • It was filibustered in the Senate, where a motion for cloture failed with 36 no votes.
      • We need to start lobbying potential no votes in the House and Senate now.

The Electoral College makes it near impossible for independents to win the presidency.

  • Example: In 1992, Ross Perot got 19% of the popular vote but 0 Electoral College votes.
  • The current presidential primary system is extremely biased toward the two major parties.
Source: The Electoral College can magnify a win into a landslide – Pew Research, 2020

We now have the ability to ratify and administer open national popular votes for president.

  • In Constitutional Convention negotiations, the majority of the committee wanted a national popular vote, but had to compromise to get 9 of the 13 original states to ratify the constitution.
  • In Federalist Papers #68, “The Mode of Electing the President”, Alexander Hamilton argues that “Nothing was more to be desired than that every practicable obstacle should be opposed to cabal, intrigue, and corruption.”
    • The partisan presidential primaries have devolved into corrupt, insider processes.
      • Open direct election of presidents would break partisan control over politics.


The strongest opposition to a national popular vote for president is the status quo.

Amending the constitution is seen as difficult, requiring approval of two-thirds of Congress and three-fourths of States, so few people try.

But major amendments have been successful multiple times in our modern era and can be done again, especially for such an important and populist issue as the national popular vote.

Counter: Won’t a national popular vote allow less qualified people to become President?

  • Response: In four elections (1876, 1888, 2000, 2016), the candidate with fewer popular votes won.
    • Each time this happens, it erodes the trust in our government and democracy.
      • 2024 could be a repeat of 2016 where Trump wins while losing the popular vote.
  • Response: Every other major federal and state office is already elected by popular vote.
    • All Governors, Senators, and Representatives are directly elected.
    • Our highest executive position, President, should follow this proven standard.
  • Response: Running for president is already a partisan popularity contest.
    • This amendment will unify our country into one national popular choice for President.

Counter: Doesn’t the Electoral College protect the interests of smaller states?

  • Response: The Senate already over-represents the votes of citizens in smaller states.
    • Combined with the filibuster, small states already have an effective veto on all bills.
  • Response: The Electoral College really protects the two-party system.
    • We can rally populist support in each state against parties and for a national popular vote.
      • A national popular vote ensures that every vote counts equally.

Counter: Wouldn’t a national popular vote always benefit Democrats?

  • Republicans actually did better in the popular vote vs. Electoral College in 2004, 2008, and 2012.
    • The Electoral College tends to benefit whichever party wins more border states.
  • Both establishment Democrats and Republicans benefit from the Electoral College.
    • Popular voting benefits the public, who finally gets to pick their own candidates.
Source: Data by Dave Leip’s Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections. Chart by FiveThirtyEight.

Alternative: The District Plan

  • Idea: Each congressional district votes for one elector.
    • Benefit: Allows states to split electoral votes more proportionally.
      • This plan would make the Electoral College more representative.
    • Problem: Still has the issue of state parties controlling how electors vote.
    • Conclusion: Popular voting has more public support and solves the elector problem.

Alternative: National Popular Vote Interstate Compact

  • Idea: An agreement between states to award their Electoral College votes
    • Benefit: This can be implemented state-by-state without a constitutional amendment.
      • 16 states + DC have adopted this compact, covering 205 Electoral College votes.
        • The compact still needs 65 Electoral College votes to have legal force.
          • Pending: 63 = NC (16), MI (15), WI (10), SC (9), NV (6) ME (4).
    • Problem: This compact is less popular than a presidential popular vote amendment.
      • 55% of Americans support a popular vote amendment but only 45% support states awarding their Electoral College votes to the national popular vote winner.
    • Problem: This is still an indirect way of electing the president.
      • And it would still likely require congressional approval due to the Compact Clause.
    • Conclusion: This issue is important enough for a constitutional amendment.


Make abolishing the Electoral College the #1 issue in politics in 2025.

How: Leverage existing support to create a nationwide campaign for this amendment.

  1. 63% of Americans already support a national popular vote.
  2. 70% of 18-29-year olds want to abolish the Electoral College.
  3. A Biden 2024 win would likely increase bipartisan support for this amendment.

Typology: The majority of Americans clearly support a national popular vote.

  • But this support is concentrated in the populist wing of each party.
    • So establishment politicians, who win most elections, have avoided this issue.
  • We need to rally nationwide populist support to abolish the electoral college in 2025.
See: The 8 Lanes in US Politics. At least three types of Democrats and one type of Republicans support a national popular vote.

Key: Big amendments have been passed in the modern era with grassroots movements.

  • Example: The 26th Amendment passed faster than any other amendment, going from being proposed in Congress to being ratified by three-fourths of states in less than four months in 1971.
    • The slogan “old enough to fight, old enough to vote” was central to a youth-driven movement supporting this amendment.
  • Example: The 27th Amendment was ratified in 1992 after a 19-year-old college student, Gregory Watson, wrote a paper arguing for its ratification and launched a nationwide campaign to get it passed.
    • He got a C on the paper, which motivated him to get the amendment ratified.

Timing: Be ready to launch this campaign after 2024 presidential election results are final.

  • One possible scenario is that in an election between two unpopular candidates, Trump will win the Electoral College by as little as one vote while Biden will win the popular vote by 1,000,000+ votes.
    • This would focus Democratic activists’ energy towards a fairer way to elect presidents.
  • A Biden 2024 win would be perfect for this movement.
    • 80% of Democrats and 42% of Republicans now support electing presidents by popular vote.
      • The best time to get Republicans on board with this Amendment is after back-to-back Democratic presidential wins.


We need to fight the two-party system and take back control of our elections.

Independents deserve a fair chance to run for president.

George Washington is still the only American president to win as an Independent and also the only President to win the Electoral College unanimously, twice.

Yet when he refused a third term in office, he saw the dangers of political parties coming and called it out in his 1796 Farewell Address, arguing “they are likely, in the course of time and things, to become potent engines by which cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the power of the people and to usurp for themselves the reins of government, destroying afterwards the very engines which have lifted them to unjust dominion.

Washington was right, the 1796 presidential election was fiercely partisan, and we’ve been ruled by cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men ever since.

If we want another Washington-style Independent as president, we need to abolish the Electoral College, which has been corrupted by two-party control.

The constitution was always intended to be changed.

“The basis of our political systems is the right of the people to make and to alter their constitutions of government.” — George Washington

Our Founding Fathers anticipated that our country would change dramatically and purposely designed the constitution to be amendable. The first ten amendments were passed within two years of the Constitution being ratified. We don’t use this power enough.

Our president should represent all citizens equally, not just those in their political party.

“To the efficacy and permanency of your Union, a government for the whole is indispensable. No alliances, however strict, between the parts can be an adequate substitute.” — George Washington

The Electoral College is both outdated and corrupted. We need to abolish it now.

People > Parties

  • The Constitution begins with “We the People of the United States…”
  • The two-party system has subverted our power and taken control of our elections.
  • We need to fight back and take direct control of our presidential elections.

Published by Neil Thanedar

Neil Thanedar is an entrepreneur, investor, scientist, altruist, and author. He is the founder & GP of Utopic, a pre-seed biotech VC fund investing in the future of science. He is also the founder & chairman of Air to All, a 501(c)3 nonprofit medical device startup, and Labdoor, a consumer watchdog with $7M+ in funding and 20M+ users. He previously co-founded Avomeen Analytical Services, a product development and testing lab acquired for $30M+ in 2016. He has also served as Executive Director of The Detroit Partnership and Senior Advisor to his father Shri Thanedar in his campaigns for Governor, State Representative, and US Congress in Michigan.