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Will Colorado sell its Electoral College voice to California?

Trent England - Jul 01, 2020

State Updates

Voters in Colorado will decide this November whether to enact or reject the National Popular Vote interstate compact (NPV).

Voters in Colorado will decide this November whether to enact or reject the National Popular Vote interstate compact (NPV). The campaign behind NPV, and most of its money, comes from California. So it’s no surprise that NPV would give California control over Colorado’s voice in presidential elections.

Frustrated Al Gore supporters came up with NPV after the 2000 election. It changes state laws about presidential electors. If NPV takes effect, states that have join the compact will ignore their own voters and attempt to select presidential electors based on the national popular vote.

At best, this means giving away Colorado’s voice. At worst, it means nationwide recounts, all sorts of lawsuits, and uncertainty about who really wins.

Right now, Colorado voters decide how Colorado votes for president. But with NPV, voters in Los Angeles would suddenly have a say not just over how California votes, but over how Colorado votes. And because there are more than twice as many people in the Los Angeles metro area than all of Colorado, they would have twice as much power over Colorado’s votes.

And what about the entire state of California? It has a population seven times larger than Colorado. That means NPV would give California seven times more power over how Colorado votes in the Electoral College than Coloradans.