Colorado Joins 11 States Agreeing to Ditch Electoral College for Popular Vote

Colorado has become the 12th state agreeing to ditch the Electoral College and give all electoral votes to the winner of the popular vote in presidential elections.

Democrat Gov. Jared Polis signed a bill on Friday that would award Colorado’s presidential electoral votes to the candidate who wins the popular vote in a presidential election, allowing the state to join the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact.

Members of the compact, which includes 11 states and the District of Columbia, agreed to award all presidential electoral votes to the candidate who wins the nationwide popular vote instead of giving the votes to the Electoral College.

But the compact only takes effect if states combine for 270 or more electoral votes— the number of votes needed to win a presidential election— agreeing to its terms.

Now that Colorado has joined the compact, the compact needs states representing 181 electoral votes before states can begin awarding electoral votes to the popular vote winner.

If enough states agree to the terms of the compact, it could change how presidential elections are decided by limiting the power of the Electoral College.

The 11 states which have already agreed to the compact— Vermont, Rhode Island, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Washington, New York, Illinois, New Jersey, and California— have passed legislation in their respective statehouses agreeing to favor the popular vote in presidential elections.

New Mexico could be the next state to sign on to the compact, as its Senate recently passed a bill in favor of awarding electoral votes to the national popular vote winner.

Although the popular vote movement has been branded as a bipartisan effort by supporters of the legislation, all the states that have signed onto the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact are blue states.

The popular vote movement also gained traction among Democrats 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.

Since then, Democrats have sought to get rid of the Electoral College and replace it with a popular vote system.

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.