CHICAGO — Alan Keyes said Friday he would like to end the system under which the people elect U.S. senators and return to the pre-1913 practice in which senators were chosen by state legislatures.
The Republican Senate candidate in Illinois, asked about past comments on the election process, said the constitutional amendment that provided for popular election of senators upset the balance between the people and the states.
"The balance is utterly destroyed when the senators are directly elected, because the state government as such no longer plays any role in the deliberations at the federal level," Keyes said at a taping of WBBM Newsradio's "At Issue" program. He said it was one of the reasons for "a steady, deleterious erosion of the sovereign role of the states."
Keyes' Democratic rival, state Sen. Barack Obama of Chicago, issued a statement saying he supported the popular election of U.S. senators.