The Colorado legislature has approved the National Popular Vote compact, which would ensure that the candidate who received the most votes in all fifty states and the District of Columbia would become president. Governor Polis is expected to sign the bill into law.
Twelve other states have already ratified the plan, which will go into effect once states that comprise a total of 270 electoral votes have entered into the legally binding agreement. With Colorado’s approval, the states in the plan to date control 181 electoral votes, or 89 shy of the level needed for implementation. Legislators in Maine, Nevada, and New Mexico will consider joining the plan this spring.
Five out of the 45 presidential elections held since the creation of the Electoral College have been won by a candidate who lost the national popular vote due primarily to the “winner-take-all” rule, which was not in the Constitution but has evolved over time. Under winner-take-all, a candidate receives 100% of a state’s electoral votes even if they win just 51% of the vote in that state. The National Popular Vote compact would bind state electors to support whichever candidate received the most votes nationwide, thus guaranteeing that candidate at least 270 electoral votes and the White House.