Alexander: Protecting Colorado’s vote means voting no on Prop 113
Special to the Daily
The National Popular Vote Compact is a multistate agreement designed to override the Electoral College mechanism for electing our president. Each member state agrees to award its electoral votes to the presidential candidate who wins the total popular vote. That means individual states have no say on how their state’s electoral votes are cast — they all go to the winner of the national popular vote, regardless of each state’s voting outcome.
What has history taught us about the Electoral College?
In 1787, James Madison addressed two legitimate election concerns with the National Popular Vote. First, people would tend toward supporting candidates from their state, giving an advantage to any large state that fielded a candidate. Second, the states with the largest concentrations of voters would dominate the choice for president.
So, how did the Constitution address this dilemma?
Simply put, the number of Electoral College votes for each state is equal to the number of Congressional leaders from that state. In Colorado, we have seven members of the U.S. House of Representatives and two U.S. senators for a total of nine Electoral College votes.
This provision in essence watered down the impact of the popular vote and helped to ensure the interests of all Americans would be considered by a president.
Why should we keep the Electoral College?
Under the Electoral College system, presidential elections are decentralized taking place in each separate state.
The Electoral College continues to push parties and presidential candidates to build a geographically broad coalition of voters to win the presidency.
Why is the National Popular Vote Compact wrong for Colorado?
Politicians in Denver voted to give away our votes for president by passing Senate Bill 19-042. Through the petition process, Coloradans achieved the ability to challenge this decision and overturn the bill by putting it on the state ballot in the November 2020 election.
About 50% of the United States population is concentrated in nine states. Without the Electoral College mechanism, a small number of highly-populated states like California, New York, Texas, Florida, Pennsylvania, and Illinois, and a few others would have the power to vote in a president that gives those states’ interests priority.
To put this in perspective, according to the Associated Press analysis after the 2016 election, with 3,113 counties in the United States, Donald Trump won 2,626 and Hillary won just 487. That means a very small number of counties with very dense populations could have determined the winner of the presidency — places like Southern California and Manhattan and Chicago. Does that make any sense?
Regardless of party affiliation, Coloradans instinctively know that changing the Electoral College process is wrong because eliminating it would mean that states with a small number of Electoral votes would never see national candidates. Their concentration would be solely on states with the largest number of votes. The Electoral College was a brilliant creation by our founders to protect our interests.
Let’s not turn Colorado into flyover state that never sees a presidential candidate again and loses its leverage to protect our unique resources. Use your vote to keep Colorado’s voice. Because it’s this simple: Colorado should cast its electoral votes for the candidate who obtains the most votes in Colorado. It couldn’t be any more clear than that.
An educated voter is a powerful voter. Use your power to vote no on the National Popular Vote Compact. Vote no on Proposition 113.
Jeanne Alexander is a resident of Eagle Ranch.
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