DENVER (CBS4) – Gov. Jared Polis is expected to sign a bill which could change how Colorado elects the President of the United States. The Centennial Institute at Colorado Christian University held a debate on the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact on Friday.

(credit: CBS)

CBS4 Political Specialist Shaun Boyd moderated the debate.

CBS4’s Shaun Boyd (credit: CBS)

Twelve states formed a compact in which they agree to award all of their electoral votes to the winner of the national popular vote, instead of the winner of the state popular vote.

Opponents say it’s unconstitutional, while proponents say the constitution leaves the allocation of electors up to states.

“States have what’s called exclusive and plenary authority to determine how their electors are chosen, and that has been confirmed and affirmed by two supreme court decisions; one in 1892 and Bush v. Gore. So a state can pick any method that it wants,” said Ted Trimpa, a national popular vote proponent.

(credit: CBS)

“The constitution says we’re guaranteed a republican form of government that says you cannot give up the power of your people to others, to other states, to a dictatorship whatever might be,” State Sen. Bob Gardner, a national popular vote opponent.

The compact wouldn’t start until the states involved have a combined 270 electoral votes. There are 172 right now.

Comments (2)
  1. That would make an allegation of voter fraud in one state grounds for challenging the results in another state. i can think of no law that could resulting in a messier situation. In 2000 both parties could have filed suit in 49 sates challenging the results in Florida.

  2. “The bottom line is that the electors from those states who cast their ballot for the nationwide vote winner are completely accountable (to the extent that independent agents are ever accountable to anyone) to the people of those states. The National Popular Vote states aren’t delegating their Electoral College votes to voters outside the state; they have made a policy choice about the substantive intelligible criteria (i.e., national popularity) that they want to use to make their selection of electors. There is nothing in Article II (or elsewhere in the Constitution) that prevents them from making the decision that, in the Twenty-First Century, national voter popularity is a (or perhaps the) crucial factor in worthiness for the office of the President.”
    – Vikram David Amar – professor and the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at the UC Davis School of Law. Before becoming a professor, he clerked for Judge William A. Norris of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and for Justice Harry Blackmun at the Supreme Court of the United States.

    In Gallup polls since 1944 until before 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 (with about 70% opposed and about 10% undecided).

    Support for a national popular vote has been strong among Republicans, Democrats, and Independent voters, as well as every demographic group in every state surveyed. In the 41 now shown on divisive maps as 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.

    In state polls of voters each with a second question that specifically emphasized that their state’s electoral votes would be awarded to the winner of the national popular vote in all 50 states, not necessarily their state’s winner, there was only a 4-8% decrease of support.

    Question 1: “How do you think we should elect the President: Should it be the candidate who gets the most votes in all 50 states, or the current Electoral College system?”

    Question 2: “Do you think it more important that a state’s electoral votes be cast for the presidential candidate who receives the most popular votes in that state, or is it more important to guarantee that the candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states becomes president?”

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