DENVER (CBS4) – Some Colorado lawmakers want to change how some states’ electoral votes would count in future presidential elections. It would move the country toward a system where whomever wins the most votes nationwide wins the presidency.

The lawmaker carrying the bill says people demanded it after this year’s election in which Hillary Clinton won the popular vote but Donald Trump won the election.

The Constitution gives states discretion in how they dole out their electoral votes. Right now, the winner of a state’s popular vote wins all of the state’s electoral votes. But, what if states doled out their electoral votes based on who won the national popular vote?

Under the bill before state lawmakers, Colorado would join the national popular vote interstate compact — an agreement among states to award all of their respective electoral votes to the winner of the national popular vote.


It wouldn’t kick in until there are enough states that — together — they account for the majority of electoral votes. A total of 270 are needed to win the presidency.

The compact currently includes 10 states and the District of Columbia, for a combined 165 electoral votes.

Sen. Andy Kerr (credit: CBS)

Sen. Andy Kerr (credit: CBS)

“This is about one person, one vote. Everyone’s vote being equal, whether you live on the coast, whether you live in the interior everyone’s vote is equal,” said Sen. Andy Kerr, a Democrat who represents Lakewood. “It’s the one race that everyone in the country can vote for and it’s the one race that has this very convoluted system that nobody quite understands a lot of the time. But this simplifies it and says whoever wins the most votes wins the election.”

The bill has its first committee hearing on Wednesday.

Sen. Jerry Sonnenberg (credit: CBS)

Sen. Jerry Sonnenberg (credit: CBS)

“Our forefathers were brilliant in designing a system which gave smaller states the ability to have their say in a presidential election. This gives states like Colorado a stronger voice. And quite frankly, whatever party they decide to vote for, it gives them a stronger voice. And presidential candidates will now come here to have that discussion,” said Sen. Jerry Sonnenberg, a Republican who represents Sterling and areas around it. “If we go to a popular vote, Colorado’s out of the mix. They’ll go to New York, they go to Florida, they go to Texas, they go to California. And quite honestly, the elections may be over before Colorado polls close, because you know how the popular vote will go.

So far only Democrats have signed on to the plan, which doesn’t bode well in Colorado’s currently split legislature.

Comments (11)
  1. Leave things as they are.

    1. A survey of Colorado voters in 2008 showed 68% overall support for a national popular vote for President.

      In Gallup polls since they started asking in 1944 until this election, only about 20% of the public has supported the current system of awarding all of a state’s electoral votes to the presidential candidate who receives the most votes in each separate state (not mentioned in the U.S. Constitution, but later enacted by 48 states) (with about 70% opposed and about 10% undecided).

      Support for a national popular vote for President has been strong among Republicans, Democrats, and Independent voters, as well as every demographic group in every state surveyed. In the 41 red, blue, and purple states surveyed, overall support has been in the 67-81% range – in rural states, in small states, in Southern and border states, in big states, and in other states polled.

      Most Americans don’t ultimately care whether their presidential candidate wins or loses in their state or district . . . they care whether he/she wins the White House. Voters want to know, that no matter where they live, even if they were on the losing side, their vote actually was equally counted and mattered to their candidate. Most Americans think it is wrong that the candidate with the most popular votes can lose. We don’t allow this in any other election in our representative republic.


      1. Can O'Korn says:

        Proof that the system works as designed. 68% of Coloradans are morons. Who knew?

      2. Trump, November 13, 2016, on “60 Minutes”
        “ I would rather see it, where you went with simple votes. You know, you get 100 million votes, and somebody else gets 90 million votes, and you win. There’s a reason for doing this. Because it brings all the states into play.”

        In 2012, the night Romney lost, Trump tweeted.
        “The phoney electoral college made a laughing stock out of our nation. . . . The electoral college is a disaster for a democracy.”

  2. Linda Hart says:

    Really? Leave the system alone. It has worked well for over 200 years and is still working. Otherwise California and New York control our country and the rest of us have no say at all in who is running the asylum.

    1. In 2016, New York state and California Democrats together cast 9.7% of the total national popular vote.

      In total New York state and California cast 16% of the total national popular vote

      In total, Florida, Texas, and Pennsylvania cast 18% of the total national popular vote.
      Trump won those states.

      The vote margin in California and New York wouldn’t have put Clinton over the top in the popular vote total without the additional 60 million votes she received in other states.

      In 2004, among the four largest states, the two largest Republican states (Texas and Florida) generated a total margin of 2.1 million votes for Bush, while the two largest Democratic states generated a total margin of 2.1 million votes for Kerry.

      New York state and California together cast 15.7% of the national popular vote in 2012.
      About 62% Democratic in CA, and 64% in NY.

      New York and California have 15.6% of Electoral College votes.

    2. Unable to agree on any particular method for selecting presidential electors, the Founding Fathers left the choice of method exclusively to the states in Article II, Section 1
      “Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors….”
      The U.S. Supreme Court has repeatedly characterized the authority of the state legislatures over the manner of awarding their electoral votes as “plenary” and “exclusive.”

      Neither of the two most important features of the current system of electing the President (namely, universal suffrage, and the 48 state-by-state winner-take-all method) are in the U.S. Constitution. Neither was the choice of the Founders when they went back to their states to organize the nation’s first presidential election.

      In 1789, in the nation’s first election, a majority of the states appointed their presidential electors by appointment by the legislature or by the governor and his cabinet, the people had no vote for President in most states, and in states where there was a popular vote, only men who owned a substantial amount of property could vote, and only three states used the state-by-state winner-take-all method to award electoral votes.

      The current winner-take-all method of awarding electoral votes is not in the U.S. Constitution. It was not debated at the Constitutional Convention. It is not mentioned in the Federalist Papers. It was not the Founders’ choice. It was used by only three states in 1789, and all three of them repealed it by 1800. It is not entitled to any special deference based on history or the historical meaning of the words in the U.S. Constitution. The actions taken by the Founding Fathers make it clear that they never gave their imprimatur to the winner-take-all method. The winner-take-all method of awarding electoral votes became dominant only in the 1830s, when most of the Founders had been dead for decades, after the states adopted it, one-by-one, in order to maximize the power of the party in power in each state.

      The constitutional wording does not encourage, discourage, require, or prohibit the use of any particular method for awarding a state’s electoral votes.

  3. It is time one vote = one vote. Electoral college is outdated. It would solve some of the issues with Gerrymandering.

    1. Can O'Korn says:

      Mob Rule. No surprise that the Dems would love this.

      2017…. the 100th anniversary of the Bolshevik (Communist) Revolution and creation of Political Correctness. How fitting that the Demshevik Socialists have risen again.

      1. Trump, November 13, 2016, on “60 Minutes”
        “ I would rather see it, where you went with simple votes. You know, you get 100 million votes, and somebody else gets 90 million votes, and you win. There’s a reason for doing this. Because it brings all the states into play.”

        In 2012, the night Romney lost, Trump tweeted.
        “The phoney electoral college made a laughing stock out of our nation. . . . The electoral college is a disaster for a democracy.”

        Supporters of the National Popular Vote bill include former Senator Fred Thompson (R–TN), Governor Jim Edgar (R–IL), Congressman Tom Tancredo (R-CO), and former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R–GA)

        Newt Gingrich summarized his support for the National Popular Vote bill by saying: “No one should become president of the United States without speaking to the needs and hopes of Americans in all 50 states. … America would be better served with a presidential election process that treated citizens across the country equally. The National Popular Vote bill accomplishes this in a manner consistent with the Constitution and with our fundamental democratic principles.”

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