Supporters of Colorado's National Popular Vote law are launching their campaign Tuesday by unveiling a statewide coalition of progressive and civic organizations who want voters to reject a ballot measure that would prevent the law from taking effect.
The law would join Colorado to an interstate compact pledging to award the states' Electoral College votes to the presidential candidate who wins the national popular vote, rather than the candidate who wins each state's vote. Under the agreement, the compact won't be enforced until enough states have signed on to total 270 electoral votes — the minimum required to win the presidency.
Opponents led by Monument Mayor Don Wilson and Mesa County Commissioner Rose Pugliese mounted a referendum campaign to block the law as soon as Gov. Jared Polis signed the Democratic-passed bill in March 2019. They gathered enough signatures to place the question on the November ballot.
“Living in a democracy should mean 'one person, one vote,' and that everyone’s vote counts equally," said Ruth Stemler, president of the League of Women Voters of Colorado, in a statement announcing the group's support for the Yes on National Popular Vote campaign.
The campaign plans to hold a series of tele-town halls about the issue, starting with a Tuesday evening conference call with state Sen. Mike Foote, D-Louisville, and League of Women Voters officials. The call starts at 5:40 p.m., organizers said, and participants can dial (888) 223-4893 to join.
Rosemary Lytle, president of the Colorado Montana Wyoming State Area Conference of the NAACP, said the proposal will establish a system to elect a president with the most support in every state, not just a few "battleground" states.
“We’re excited to make the case to Colorado voters that the presidential candidate who wins the national popular vote should be president — period,” Lytle said in a statement.
"The power of our vote should not depend on where we live. Every vote should count equally," said Jean Aaro, president of the La Plata County League of Women Voters.
"Electing our president based on the majority of all votes cast makes a vote from rural Colorado have the same weight as a vote from Brooklyn; and a vote from a fly-over state counts just as much as a coastal state. A national popular vote is the fair way to elect a president in a democracy.”
Opponents of the law make the opposite argument. Protect Colorado's Vote, the campaign committee seeking to overturn the law, say the national popular vote movement is the "theft of our votes for president," effectively handing control of Colorado's electors over to residents of New York City, Los Angeles and Chicago.
To date, the law has been enacted in 15 states and the District of Columbia, amounting to 196 electoral votes.
In addition to the local NAACP, state League of Women Voters and numerous local chapters of the venerable civic group, organizations supporting the Yes on National Popular Vote campaign include:
- Common Cause Colorado
- Together Colorado
- Colorado Organization for Latina Opportunity and Reproductive Rights
- Mi Familia Vota
- Progress Now Colorado
- Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition
- SEIU Colorado
- AFSCME Colorado
- New Era Colorado
- Indivisible Colorado Action Network (ICAN)
- Colorado Citizens Project
- One Colorado
- ACLU Colorado
- Denver Womxns March
- Represent.Us JeffCo & Represent.Us Ft. Collins
- Our Revolution Metro Denver & Our Revolution Weld County
- Colorado People's Alliance (COPA)
- United for a New Economy
- Rocky Mountain Peace and Justice Center