DENVER – Colorado lawmakers are considering a plan to effectively circumvent the Electoral College, part of a national movement to ensure that the candidate who wins the popular vote wins the presidency.
Senate Majority Leader Ken Gordon, a Denver Democrat, has proposed that Colorado enter into a compact with other states pledging that all its Electoral College delegates will vote for the winner of the national popular vote.
The compact would take effect only if enough states sign on to form a majority in the Electoral College.
The Electoral College was created by the founding fathers to protect smaller states. The winner of the popular vote in each state wins all that state’s delegates to the Electoral College, which in turn elects the president.
That led to a court battle in 2000 when Vice President Al Gore won a majority of the popular vote but George W. Bush won a majority of the Electoral College.
Gordon said the current system forces candidates to focus on swing states such as Florida, Iowa, and Ohio and ignore much of the rest of the country. He said an election based on the popular vote would force candidates to pay attention to every state.
“This would make every state count equally,” he said. “If you care about the presidential election and live in Texas, why vote? That’s why the turnout is larger in the battleground states.”
Several Republican senators joined Gordon in co-sponsoring the measure, including John Evans of Parker and Lew Entz of Hooper. Gordon said the same thing could have happened to Republicans two years ago.
“If 60,000 votes had switched in Ohio, Kerry would be president and Bush would have had 3 million more votes,” said Gordon.