Local leaders oppose 'popular vote' bill: Repeal underway

Published: Mar. 19, 2019 at 6:19 PM MDT
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Mesa County Commissioner Rose Pugliese is fighting back against the bill that Governor Jared Polis signed Friday which could give the popular vote all of the power in our state when voting for the president.

"People are angry," Pugliese said. "Their votes are their votes and they don't want to give them away to California and New York."

It likely won't impact you this election cycle. In order for all of this to happen, enough states would have to get on board to make up 270 electoral votes, that's how many electoral votes you need to win the presidential election.

If that happened, Colorado would designate all of its electoral votes to the winner of the nation's popular vote -- and other states would do the same. That means the electoral college is still technically intact, although obsolete, not technically violating the Constitution.

"Basically the national popular vote compact allows all the states in the compact to decide who the electoral college votes for president will go," Pugliese said.

Pugliese says Coloradans would lose their voice if that were to happen.

"The founding fathers founded our country as a republic, not a democracy, and it's really important that the people of Colorado don't feel disenfranchised," she said.

Local Democrats disagree. They say your voice isn't being heard now.

"If we get rid of the electoral vote, the popular vote means that your vote will count," Maria Keenan, chairperson for the Mesa County Democrats, said. "More people will vote and have a word in what's going on with our government."

They say the last election was a great indication of that. Hillary Clinton won the popular vote, but lost the election.

"The electoral vote brought in Trump at the moment and it's something that divided the country basically because people are not for the electoral vote," Keenan said. "The popular vote guarantees your vote will count so I just feel that it's something that has to be done."

Pugliese needs around 200,000 signatures on that petition by August 1. With those signatures in hand, it will go to the Secretary of State's office to be approved as a question on the 2020 ballot.