Voting in USA elections

Woodland Park has joined two other Colorado Springs-area communities in opposing a controversial new state law that would award Colorado's nine Electoral College votes to the presidential candidate who wins the popular vote nationwide.

The Woodland Park City Council voted 5-0 on Aug. 15 to take a formal stance against the law, which will only take effect if enough other states join the compact. City Council Members Kellie Case and Paul Saunier were absent from the vote.

City Councilman Noel Sawyer, who introduced the resolution, reiterated a concern that many of the law's opponents share — it goes against the system that the framers of the U.S. Constitution created.

"They also wanted a president that was popular across the nation and not isolated to a certain part of the country," said Sawyer, who added that the formation of the Electoral College was "ingenious."

The Monument Board of Trustees and Fountain City Council passed similar resolutions in July.

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 now belong to the compact, for 196 electoral votes.

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 it's drawn fierce blowback from many, including Monument Mayor Don Wilson, who's leading an effort to put a measure on the 2020 ballot that would give state voters a chance to void the law.  

The opposition group, called Protect Colorado's Vote, submitted more than 227,000 signatures in a referendum petition to the Secretary of State's Office on Aug. 1 — far more than the 124,632 needed to get the question on the ballot.

The office has about a month to validate the signatures, plus 30 days to allow for protests or challenges to the petition.

"Hopefully, if it goes back to the voters, they'll vote it down this time," Sawyer said.

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