DENVER — Colorado Democrats in the House gave final approval to a bill aimed at allowing the President of the United States to eventually be elected by the popular vote. The measure already passed the State Senate and is now on it’s way to Governor Polis’ desk.
Polis has spoken positively about the concept in the past and is expected to sign the legislation.
“Every vote should count equally,” said Rep. Emily Sirota (D-Denver), a prime sponsor of the bill.
Senate Bill 42 would require Colorado’s electors to the Electoral College to vote for the winner of the national popular vote, not the winner of the state’s results.
Under the bill, it would only take effect if enough states sign up. Currently, 11 states have joined the “interstate compact.” It would need states with a combined total of 98 electoral votes to advance. Colorado has 9 electoral college votes.
“I believe Hillary Clinton should be president. She won by more than 3 million votes,” said Linda Petrie Bunch, a Denver resident who came to the Capitol to testify.
Republicans, meanwhile, are furious about the bill.
Brita Horn drove from the Western Slope to testify against it.
“We are already a small state, and especially for me coming out from the Western Slope… the Electoral College is the only way we get our voice be heard,” Horn said.
GOP House Minority Leader Patrick Neville shares a similar belief.
“We are selling our votes to other states,” Neville said.
If signed into law by Gov. Jared Polis, Colorado is still likely several presidential elections away from implementing it, as a number of other state legislatures would have to flip Democrat.
Then, a lengthy legal proceeding would have to take place — likely involving the Supreme Court of the United States.
“It says very clearly it is the purview of the legislators to decide where their electoral votes go,” said Rep. Jeni James Arndt, another prime sponsor of the bill.