Two Pikes Peak region cities have taken a formal stance against the new state law that would award Colorado’s nine Electoral College votes to the presidential candidate who wins the popular vote nationwide, provided enough other states join that compact.
The Fountain City Council and Monument Board of Trustees passed resolutions this month declaring opposition.
The towns’ officials say the law could diminish state voters’ say in an election, potentially giving the victory to a candidate who lost Colorado’s popular vote.
“This minimizes Colorado’s voice in a presidential election and, in a sense, it just donates our popular vote to larger municipalities or larger metropolises,” said Monument Mayor Don Wilson.
Wilson is working to petition a measure onto the 2020 ballot asking state voters whether they approve of the new law.
The effort, spearheaded by Wilson and Mesa County Commissioner Rose Pugliese, has garnered more than 185,000 signatures — about 60,000 more than the 124,632 minimum needed to put the question on the ballot, Wilson said.
The petition is due to the Colorado Secretary of State’s Office on Aug. 1, said Serena Woods, a spokeswoman for the office. Once the petition has been submitted, the Secretary of State’s Office will have about a month to validate the signatures, and another 30-day period will allow for protests or challenges to the petition, Woods said.
Senate Bill 42 became law last spring, but it will only take effect if enough states enact similar legislation to reach the 270 electoral votes needed to elect a president.
Fifteen states and the District of Columbia have passed similar legislation, totaling 197 Electoral College votes, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
Colorado lawmakers who sponsored the measure have said it would allow every voter’s choice to matter equally in a presidential election, regardless of where they live.
But opponents say the law goes against the U.S. Constitution, which established the Electoral College.
“I’m equally concerned, just like our forefathers were, that the balance of the vote is going to go to just a few areas … and that the smaller states, or the large states with small populations, would not count during the election,” said Fountain City Councilwoman Sharon Thompson. “We passed our resolution just to express our concern as a council that we did not agree with that.”