National Vote Compact Would’ve Changed Colorado’s Votes Twice In The Last 10 Presidential Elections

March 18, 2019
Photo: Colorado's Electoral College | 2016's nine votes - AP
A Colorado elector holds a signed vote certificate during the electoral vote at the Capitol in Denver, Monday, Dec. 19, 2016. Colorado's nine Democratic electors cast their votes for Hillary Clinton, who won the state.

Twice.

That’s how many times Colorado’s presidential vote would have changed over the last 10 elections if the recently approved law awarding its electoral college votes to the winner of the national popular vote was in effect then.

Those two years: 1996, when the state’s electoral college votes would have gone to Bill Clinton instead of Colorado’s choice Bob Dole, and 2000 when the votes would have gone to Al Gore instead of George W. Bush.

To stop that sort of scenario, two Colorado Republicans are gathering signatures to seek a 2020 ballot measure to repeal the law, signed Friday by Gov. Jared Polis, that allows Colorado to award its electoral votes to the winner of the national popular vote.

The bill, called the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact, includes 11 other states and the District of Columbia. The law would take effect after enough states join and makeup 270 electoral votes, the number needed to win the presidency. Colorado’s nine electoral votes bring the pact to 181 votes so far.

Mesa County Commissioner Rose Pugliese, one opponent of the law, said the legislature and Polis have given Colorado’s votes away to larger states like New York and California.

“This really is not a partisan issue,” she said. “It’s a people of Colorado issue. And we should have our voice and our say in whether or not we want our votes to go to the compact or to stay with Coloradans.”

Pugliese is working with Monument Mayor Don Wilson to start the petition, she said. They started gathering signatures Friday and will need to collect about 200,000 statewide by Aug. 1 to get the question on the 2020 ballot.

The National Popular Vote campaign was launched after Gore won the popular vote but lost the election when electoral votes were counted. In 2016, Hillary Clinton won Colorado’s electoral votes and the popular vote nationwide, but President Donald Trump still won the electoral vote — giving him the presidency.