Breaking News
More () »

Answering your questions about bill to alter Colorado's electoral college votes

One of the most popular questions we've received about this legislation is: "Will there still be a point in voting?"

The most viewed bill on the state's legislative website is the one that could change how Colorado elects a President.

The "National Popular Vote" bill  would tie Colorado's nine electoral votes to the candidate who gets the most votes nationwide, and not just in Colorado.

"There is nothing specific in the Constitution that would prohibit this," said Norman Provizer, political science professor at Metropolitan State University of Denver.

This proposal does not get rid of the electoral college, that would require a constitutional amendment. Instead, it changes how we allocate our nine electoral college votes.

"State legislatures, under the Constitution -- Article Two, the Executive Article -- basically determine how electors are selected to vote in the Presidential contest to determine the winner," said Provizer. "This is a matter of the state legislature voting to, kind of, adjust the system, and because there are no details in the Constitution, I think that piece of it is pretty open to making that kind of change."

There are few times that the presidential candidate with the greatest number of votes did not win the election.

In 2016, Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton received nearly 2.9 million more votes that Republican winner President Trump. Trump, however, won the electoral college, ultimately receiving 304 electoral votes to Clinton's 227.

In 2000, Democratic candidate Al Gore received 540,000 more nationwide votes compared to Republican winner President Bush. Bush won the electoral college 271 to 266.

Before that, it hadn't happened since 1888, when Republican Benjamin Harrison beat Democratic President Grover Cleveland. Harrison won the electoral college 233 to 168, but Cleveland received 90,000 more votes.

One of the most popular questions we've received about this legislation is: "Will there still be a point in voting?"

"There's always a point in people voting because ultimately, if five people vote, then three people will determine the outcome of the election," said Provizer. "I don't think anyone becomes irrelevant because the basics remain the same. Somebody has to get 270 electoral votes."

If Colorado passes this legislation and it's signed by Gov. Jared Polis, then we join the queue of 11 other state and Washington, D.C. that have already approved the same idea. 

So far California, Washington, Hawaii, Illinois, New York, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Jersey, Maryland and Washington, D.C. have agreed to this, equaling 172 electoral votes. This can't take effect until states totaling 270 electoral votes agree.

SUGGESTED VIDEOS | Next with Kyle Clark

Before You Leave, Check This Out