The Democratic-majority Colorado state Senate passed a bill this week that would give the state’s electoral votes in presidential elections to the candidate who wins the popular vote instead of the Electoral College.
Colorado’s Senate passed the bill in a 19-16 vote Tuesday along party lines.
The bill would mandate that the state’s members of the Electoral College vote for the presidential candidate who wins the popular vote.
Under current state law, the state’s electoral college members cast their vote for the candidate who wins the election in Colorado.
The legislation, sponsored by state Sen. Mike Foote (D-Lafayette), would have allowed Colorado to join the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact with 11 other states and the District of Columbia.
“This really isn’t a red versus blue idea. This is about making sure that the president of the United States is elected by the entire nation, not just a handful of ‘battleground states’ that get to decide our presidential elections under the current system,” Foote said of the bill in a statement. “All of Colorado’s voters should be heard, regardless of whether or not we are considered a battleground state.”
If enough states sign onto the compact, it would change the outcome of presidential elections by awarding all electoral votes to the winner of the popular vote.
But the bill is not likely to become law unless the Colorado House approves and enough states agree to the compact.
The states which have agreed to the compact only add up to 172 electoral votes, falling short of the 270 electoral votes needed for a candidate to win the Electoral College.
Colorado Senate Republicans have also raised concerns about whether the proposal is constitutional, saying that it is unconstitutional to link the state’s electorate to public opinion.
ALL 16 of your GOP Senators voted NO to curtailing the electoral college.
Senator @owenjhill: “It says you’re votes and your choices are no longer your own. We are going to tie your representation to what the other 49 states choose."#COpolitics #COleghttps://t.co/jZIrms8odv
— Colorado Senate GOP (@ColoSenGOP) January 31, 2019
“It says your votes and your choices are no longer your own,” GOP state Sen. Owen Hill said in a statement. “We are going to tie your representation to what the other 49 states choose.”
Democrats have taken aim at the Electoral College after the 2016 presidential election, when President Trump won the election against his Democratic challenger Hillary Clinton but lost the popular vote by three million votes.
Trump took home 304 electoral votes, while Clinton had 227 votes.
Clinton herself called for abolishing the Electoral College in September 2018, claiming the country should get rid of it because Trump was a terrible president who threatened American democracy.
Other Democrats turned their calls for getting rid the Electoral College into action. Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN) introduced a bill in Congress in January seeking to abolish the Electoral College.