There is a way to bypass the Electoral College without a constitutional ammendment.http://www.fairvote.org/national_popular_vote
States are allowed under the Constitution to award their electors however they like. In theory having a coin flip would be legal. The national popular vote is an interstate compact where the states pass legislation to award all their electors to the winner of the national popular vote.
So far 11 states (well 10 states + DC) totaling 165 electoral votes have passed this compact in their state. States which have already passed the national popular vote:
To avoid penalizing states which adopt early the compact only takes effect once states totaling 270 electoral votes pass similar legislation. Once that happens the winner of the national popular vote will always have 270+ EV and the electoral college is essentially moot. It will still exist until repealed by an amendment but it will be easier to repeal it after a couple of decades under the national popular vote. Even if you are in favor of a full repeal the national popular vote is a way to get there.
Particularly Southern States - where they worry about federal encroachment on their rights. Someone from Mississippi or Alabama can just kind of argue, convincingly, that their vote no longer matters because they would be overridden by people from New York and California.
Plus, there is some question as to whether this would be Constitutional - something about the Constitution prohibiting states from making pacts without Congressional approval; don't know the details.
increase the power of the states over the federal government require congressional approval.
Since compact or not states determine their electors and compact or not those electors determine the President it is hard to make an argument this diminishes the power of the federal govt. It may diminish the power of some states (*cough* swing states *cough*) but that wasn't the deciding factor in Virginia v. Tennessee.
Still let's assume that the courts did rule it required congressional approval before it could go into effect. That barrier (straight majority) is far easier than the barrier for a constitutional amendment.
One problem is that swing states directly benefit from the fucked up EC system. They get a disproportionate amount of federal funding, disaster relief, advertising, campaign promises, and campaign stops. It is unlikely any swing state would pass the compact no matter which party controls the legislature.
the voters in NY and CA calling the shots nationally.
Im not sold. I think there is some merit to the EC. Obviosly nobody is very happy with it now because it got us a Trump....
But maybe the lesson learned is that we (Democrats) need to be paying more attention to rural issues?
NY and CA don't have enough population to win the national vote.
Furthermore, if the majority of people live in cities then cities should elect the president. That's how democracy works. I'm well aware we are a constitutional republic, but, in this area, I am fully in favor of moving towards a more democratic system. Then again, I'm a bit of a radical on this issue. I firmly believe the concept of states rights and federalism has caused more trouble than it is worth.