The Electoral College has been debated since the days of James Madison, who called it "evil."
— CNN (@CNN) March 20, 2019
At best, this is mere sloppiness. At worst, it’s an active attempt to mislead viewers into thinking one of the founders would’ve supported Democrats’ call to do away with the Electoral College.
The record of what Madison actually said is far different from what the tweet would have us believe. The short version is that Madison was referring to the eventual certification by the House and that he used the word “evil” to mean “harm.” To be even more specific, Madison was talking about “elections thrown to the House which awards 2 votes to states of every size. (This is the contingency for when a vote ISN’T decided by the EC),” as the Daily Signal’s Jarrett Stepman explains.
Here’s the longer Madison quote, which comes from a letter dated Aug. 23, 1832 [emphasis added]:
Humorously enough, the same letter sees Madison endorsing an amendment by which the Electoral College would be preserved but relegated to districts rather than entire states. As libertarian author David Harsanyi notes, “Of all the founders, in fact, Madison, who wanted to create more voters in the Electoral College, made the most impassioned arguments against direct democracy in Federalist #10.”