Want Colorado To Drop Out Of National Popular Vote Compact? You May Get Your Chance.

July 15, 2019
Marleen Cohen of Aurora loads ballots into a sorting machine at the Arapahoe County Elections Facility in Littleton, Colorado, Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2018.
Marleen Cohen of Aurora loads ballots into a sorting machine at the Arapahoe County Elections Facility in Littleton, Colorado, Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2018.
(Nathaniel Minor/CPR News)
Marleen Cohen of Aurora loads ballots into a sorting machine at the Arapahoe County Elections Facility in Littleton, Colorado, Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2018.

A ballot measure to undo Colorado's National Popular Vote compact law is set to make it onto the 2020 ballot.

Colorado's legislature last session passed the law giving the state's electoral votes to the presidential candidate who wins the national popular vote. Gov. Jared Polis signed the bill in March.

Opponents say the law takes electoral power away from Coloradans.

"It's a bipartisan issue," said Don Wilson, the mayor of Monument and an organizer for the repeal movement. "The National Popular Vote would take away the individuality of states and lead us to sort of a mob rule, other-states-governing-smaller-states type election."

The movement got 60,000 more signatures than they need to get on the ballot, according to Wilson. The group needs more than 124,000 valid signatures to make it. Official tallies will be released in August.

The National Popular Vote campaign was launched after Democrat Al Gore won the popular vote but lost the 2000 presidential election to Republican George W. Bush after electoral votes were tallied.

Colorado Democrats introduced the bill after winning control of the legislature last November.

Currently, voters choose presidential electors from the political parties. The Electoral College has 538 electors, corresponding to the number of seats held by states in the U.S. Senate and House, plus three votes for the District of Columbia.

Fifteen states and Washington D.C. have passed laws agreeing to pool their votes for the national popular vote winner, regardless of whether that candidate won the most votes in the given state.

"Your vote is very personal and you don't want to see that canceled out by states like California, Illinois and New York," Wilson said. "I think the people who have jumped on this understand the value of the electoral college and what it protects us from."

The law will go into effect if enough states join. That is, if the states on the compact reach a total of 270 electoral votes, which represents a majority of the 538 votes in the electoral college. The states on board have 196 electoral votes, according to the National Popular Vote website.

In Colorado, if the compact had been in effect, it would have twice changed who Colorado awarded its electoral votes to in the last 10 elections.

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