ICYMI: Colorado’s Governor Signs Bill That Alters Its Electoral College Participation

Posted: Mar 18, 2019 6:10 AM
ICYMI: Colorado’s Governor Signs Bill That Alters Its Electoral College Participation

It’s called the Popular Vote Interstate Compact. It’s simple. A state’s electoral college votes are allocated to whoever wins the national popular vote. Period. It’s constitutional and some prominent conservatives are pushing or it. I had the privilege of attending one of the seminars on the initiative a couple of years ago. I’m not for or against this push as of now, but the reasoning behind this was that the Democrats have some 250 Electoral College votes in the bag. With Florida teetering on becoming a blue state, Democrats would have a lock on 270. That’s the ballgame. Yet, there are many ways to skin the electoral cat, as some say. Ohio and Florida appear to be resilient to the blue wave sweeps, and I’m betting that both go for Trump again in 2020. 

Still, back to the reasons for the compact. Supporters argue that it allows conservatives to run a solid red meat agenda since there is no overemphasis on moderating a message in order to win swing states. It could cut down on bad policy, like No Child Left Behind, which was geared for Volvo-driving soccer moms in Hamilton County, Ohio. It would spur GOP voters in California and New York to actually show up and vote because they know their ballots weigh a little more—and there are millions of such voters in various blue states. The Democrats can do the same; run on an agenda that’s true to their base: baby-killing, gun confiscation, high taxes, and the Green New Deal. I’m not afraid of that debate.   

Still, we’ve only had five instances where the winner of a presidential race won the Electoral College but lost the national popular vote. The current system works for electing presidents. The country isn’t on fire. Let’s relax. States are given the authority on how they allocate their electors. The election of 1796 started the winner-take-all trend because Thomas Jefferson was beaten by a mere three votes in Virginia due to electors being picked by a district. Virginia ensured that all of their electors would go to TJ by 1800 with the winner take all system. 

So, given that brief overview, Colorado said they were going to alter how they allocate their electors. Democratic Gov. Jared Polis said he would sign the bill, and now he has (via The Hill):

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis (D) signed into law Friday a bill that would award the state’s Electoral College votes to the presidential candidate who wins the national popular vote.

Polis signed the measure after both chambers of the state’s legislature passed the bill last month along party lines, with Democrats pulling heavily for the measure.

Colorado now joins 11 other states and the District of Columbia as part of the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact.

“It is important to understand that the National Popular Vote bill significantly amplifies Colorado's voice in choosing the president of the United States,” John Koza, chairman of National Popular Vote, said in a press release.

Prior to this move by Colorado, 11 states totaling 165 votes agreed to this compact. Now, it’s 12 states with 181 electoral votes. Nothing is triggered unless this push cobbles together enough states that will grant the winner 270 votes. I'm sure many of you disagree. That debate will take place in the comments section below.