The movement to end the electoral college and select the U.S. president by popular vote—reinvigorated after President Donald Trump won the 2016 election despite Hillary Clinton receiving more than 3 million more votes—is poised to claim another victory as a bill in Colorado is close to becoming law.
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A state House committee voted 6-3 for the state to join the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact, voting on party lines. The bill now moves to the Democratic-controlled state House and, if approved, is expected to be signed by Demoocratic Gov. Jared Polis.
As Common Cause noted on Twitter, the proposal is popular among Colorado voters, with 84 people volunteering to testify before the House committee in favor of joining the compact.
When the state Senate passed the bill earlier this week, the government watchdog group Public Citizen declared, “The national popular vote is winning.”
If the Colorado House passes the measure, the state is set to become the 12th state to join the compact, along with Washington, D.C. Other members include California, New York, Maryland, and Washington State.
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Under the compact, the states declare the winner of presidential elections according to which candidate wins the nationwide popular vote.
“This bill is about making sure every vote is equal and matters.” —State Rep. Emily Sirota (D-Colo.)Proponents in Colorado say it will end the diminishing of constituents’ voices all over the country in national elections.
Votes are “frustrated with the current system that’s holding their voice back,” Democratic state Sen. Jessie Danielson told the Associated Press this week.
State Reps. Emily Sirota and Jeni Arndt, both Democrats, are sponsoring the bill in the House.
“We actually see this as a constitutionally conservative approach,” Sirota told the AP. “This bill is about making sure every vote is equal and matters.”
If Colorado joins, the compact will have a combined 181 electoral votes; it needs 270 votes in order for the states committed to honoring the popular vote to swing a presidential election.
Efforts to create the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact began after Al Gore lost the 2000 election to George W. Bush despite winning the popular vote. After Clinton lost in 2016 despite winning the support of far more Americans than Trump, Connecticut joined the compact and legislators in New Mexico and Colorado moved to join as well.
Currently, efforts are still underway in New Mexico, along with New Hampshire, Maine, Delaware, Oregon, Nevada, and Michigan to join.
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