Did Sen. Dianne Feinstein Say It’s Unfair That Smaller States Count as Much as California Because of the Electoral College?
A meme paraphrases the California senator about electoral representation, but it also distorts her comment.
Text across a photograph of the California Democrat with a superimposed a Twitter icon (suggesting that was the source of the quote) read:
“…smaller states get the same vote [as California].
That’s simply unfair.
We must eliminate the Electoral College.” Sen. Dianne Feinstein April 2 2019
The original poster offered no source for the claim, and commenters didn’t ask for one, instead seemingly accepting the quote as legitimate. The included date and name made it easy to locate a brief window of commentary made by Feinstein, who did in fact tweet about the Electoral College on that particular date:
Californians are consistently under-represented when voting for president because of the Electoral College. Each elector stands for 712,000 Californians, but smaller states get the same vote for only 195,000 voters. That’s simply unfair. We must eliminate the Electoral College. pic.twitter.com/uLxXqXxL3W
— Sen Dianne Feinstein (@SenFeinstein) April 2, 2019
A number of news outlets reported on a press release jointly issued by Sens. Dianne Feinstein, Brian Schatz, Dick Durbin, and Kirsten Gillibrand on that date. The release, titled “Feinstein, Schatz, Durbin, Gilibrand Introduce Constitutional Amendment to End Electoral College,” included a lengthier version of Feinstein’s Twitter comment:
Every four years, Californians are under-represented when they cast ballots for president of the United States because of the Electoral College. Each elector stands for 712,000 California residents, but a small state like Wyoming gets the same vote for only 195,000 residents. That’s simply not fair and needs to be fixed, particularly given that twice in the last two decades the popular victor hasn’t become president. The best solution is to eliminate the Electoral College.
Although a few elements matched the meme, Feinstein’s actual Electoral College-related quote left little room for misinterpretation, but was completely misrepresented anyway. In the meme, Feinstein was quoted as saying it was “unfair” that “smaller states get the same vote” as California. In her actual commentary, Feinstein said that a single Electoral College representative “stands for 712,000 California residents, but a small state like Wyoming gets the same vote for only 195,000 residents.” The meaning of Feinstein’s commentary on that day regarding the introduction of the Constitutional amendment was entirely stripped from the meme by its creator.