DENVER – This evening, Democrats on the Colorado Senate State, Veterans, and Military Affairs Committee voted to advance Senator Mike Foote’s (D-Boulder) SB19-042, which would enroll Colorado in the National Popular Vote Compact, awarding Colorado’s electoral votes to the Presidential candidate who wins the majority of the national popular vote, as opposed to who wins the majority of the vote in Colorado.
Bob Hardaway, Law Professor at Denver University, argued that the electoral college system “gives large and small states disadvantages and advantages equally in lieu of an untested, unknown, previously rejected idea.” Responding to a question from Senator Vicki Marble (R-Fort Collins), Hardaway continued, stating that “the purpose of Electoral College was to make sure the support for a president was broad as well as deep.”
When asked about if the electoral college was “undemocratic,” Tara Ross, attorney and author of Enlightened Democracy: The Case for the Electoral College, stated that it “is not anti-democratic, it’s a blend of democracy, federalism, and republicanism.”
Mario Nicolais, a constitutional lawyer, spoke to the risks of adopting a national popular vote as it “…will move from tyranny of the battleground states to tyranny of the metropolitan statistical cities.”
Despite opposition from constitutional scholars and experts on the electoral college, alongside everyday Coloradans, the final vote was along party lines to allow the legislation to move forward. Senate Bill 19-042 now moves to the floor for second reading.