Controversial Congresswoman Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez confused millions of users on social media Tuesday; calling the Electoral College a “racist scam” while searching for American voters in the desert.
The first-term Rep. is calling for the U.S. to abolish the Electoral College, saying that the voting system is a “scam” that negatively impacts minorities.
Ocasio-Cortez made her argument on Monday in an Instagram story that includes her driving along a deserted highway and quipping, “many votes here, as you can see.”
“Very efficient way to choose leadership of the country. I mean I can’t think of any other way, can you?” Ocasio-Cortez says, before going on to cite a report from New York Magazine that argues the defenses of the system that determines the winner of presidential elections are flawed.
The freshman lawmaker said the Electoral College is a “scam” that has a “racial injustice breakdown” undermining the votes of people of color.
“Due to severe racial disparities in certain states, the Electoral College effectively weighs white voters over voters of color, as apposed to a ‘one person, one vote’ system where all our votes are counted equally,” she says, before pushing back against the argument that eliminating this ‘racist scam’ would give big states too much power.
“Could you image if we had this kind democracy-altering ‘fairness’ provision for literally any other group?” she asks. “If we weighed, for example, black and indigenous voters more because of unfairness?”
Ocasio-Cortez later asserts that plenty of Republicans live in Democratic-leaning states, saying that their votes would count equally in a popular vote.
“Facts are facts America,” Ocasio-Cortez concludes. “This racist scam has to go.”
The extended riff from the congresswoman comes as abolishing the Electoral College gains increasing traction, with several Democratic-leaning states entering a National Popular Vote interstate compact that calls for members to allocate their Electoral College vote to the candidate that wins the national popular vote.
The compact cannot go into effect until the coalition includes states that accumulate at least 270 electoral votes.
Multiple Democratic presidential candidates, including Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg, have also come out in support of eliminating the Electoral College.
Many proponents of abolishing the system have pointed to President Trump’s 2016 Electoral College victory over Hillary Clinton despite losing the popular vote. A similar scenario occurred in 2000, when President George W. Bush won the Electoral College after the disputed contest in Florida, even as he lost the popular vote to Democrat Al Gore.
Many Republican lawmakers have dismissed the movement. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said earlier this year that the push was “driven by the idea [that] Democrats want rural America to go away politically.”