An amendment on the November ballots asks Colorado voters to
make a crucial decision as to how they will pick the next
president. It is so crucial in fact that had it been in place in
the 2000 election it would have changed the outcome.
Colorado Constitutional Amendment 36 proposes a split of
electoral votes based on the percentage of the popular vote each
Had the amendment been in place in 2000, Al Gore would have won
the presidential election. Statistics from www.cnn.com show that
the final results from Colorado had former vice president Al Gore
receiving 42 percent of popular votes in Colorado in 2000, while
Bush won all the state’s electoral votes by receiving 51 percent of
the popular vote.
However, if Amendment 36 were in place, instead of receiving the
full nine electoral votes Bush would have only received five, and
Gore would have won the remaining four, giving Bush 268 total
electoral votes nationally and Gore 270 and the victory. As it
stood, Bush received 271 electoral votes and Gore fell short of the
presidency with 266.
While these calculations are only hypothetical, they illustrate
the potential this amendment could have.
The views surrounding the amendment both argue for
representation. Supporters of the amendment believe it will
increase individual representation, whereas the opposition believes
it will have a negative effect on state representation.
If voters pass the amendment, it would be in effect for the
November presidential election.
Supporters of the amendment suggest that Coloradans would be
more motivated to vote, as individual votes would have greater
weight on the outcome of presidential election, according to the
Ballot Information Booklet also known as the “Blue Book,” which is
provided by the Colorado General Assembly.
“It’s just fair. It is a much more accurate reflection of how
the state actually voted,” said Julie Brown, campaign director for
Make Your Vote Count, a group that supports Amendment 36.
Brown said the Electoral College should reflect the public
better. In 1992, Colorado only gave 40.1 percent of popular votes
to Bill Clinton but because former president George Bush, Sr.
received 35.9 percent, Clinton received the full nine electoral
votes, leaving 60 percent of Colorado unrepresented, according to
However, some politicians feel the amendment would make Colorado
insignificant because the electoral spilt would likely be 5-4,
based on Colorado’s voting trends.
Bill Ray, spokesman for the Colorado Republican Party, said this
would discourage candidates from campaigning in Colorado. The
amendment would increase third party candidate’s likelihood to
obtain electoral votes from Colorado, therefore taking votes away
from majority parties.
Brown thinks candidates utilize the photo opportunity in
Colorado’s mountains to campaign in the state and she believes
candidates would continue to campaign in Colorado regardless of the
She said that the Electoral College was intended for slave
states to have equal representation in elections and the amendment
proposes that Colorado return to the system prior to the Electoral
Ashley McBeth, president of the CSU Young Democrats, believes
Amendment 36 is not a partisan concept.
“The members (of CSU Young Democrats) are given information
about the amendment, but decisions are made on a personal basis,”