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Sunday, August 25, 2019
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Letter to the Editor: National Popular Vote
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There has been some press, including in your newspaper, that suggests that Colorado’s adoption of the National Popular Vote bill—now the law in Colorado—is somehow in violation of the U.S. Constitution. Some people now seem intent on recalling Governor Polis for his having signed the bill into law, which bill, of course, was adopted by our elected representatives.

There seems to be an agenda to claim that the law is an end-run around the U.S. Constitution. It is an interstate compact that would guarantee the presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

The law is no end-run around the U.S. Constitution. The U.S. Constitution gives state legislatures exclusive control over awarding their states’ electoral votes. Most states (48) have recently operated on a winner-take-all basis: this awards all of a state’s electoral votes to the candidate receiving the most popular votes in the state. Two states (Maine, Nebraska) have allocated electoral votes by how their congressional districts voted.

The National Popular Vote bill ensures that no Coloradan would be disenfranchised in presidential elections: every Coloradan’s vote would count, nationwide, even those votes cast for the candidate who came in out of first place in Colorado. Under winner-take-all, if you vote for any but the first-place candidate in Colorado, then you really are disenfranchised.

The electoral college is an anachronism, its failures to meet Founding Fathers’ expectations evident even in the early 19th century. Their expectations included wanting to avoid the creation of “cabals” (now known as political parties), and to prevent foreign corruption. They expected Congress, not the electoral college, to decide presidential elections most of the time.

They were wrong. Presidential elections are now nationwide, basically contests between two political parties, and should be treated as such. Today, I am confident that those Fathers would agree.

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The Greenhorn Valley View is a weekly newspaper serving the communities of the Greenhorn Valley in Southern Colorado,
including Colorado City, Rye, San Isabel, Beulah and Hatchet Ranch.

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