Coloradans deserve an open and honest discussion on Proposition 113, also known as the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact.
Unfortunately, they’re not getting it as opponents continue to propagate myths and falsehoods. The latest example is the column on this website by Rose Pugliese.
Proposition 113 makes Colorado relevant again by guaranteeing the presidency to the candidate who receives the most votes. In doing so, it upholds the fundamental principle of one person, one vote.
This is important because, right now, the Western Slope is totally irrelevant. The region’s important issues are ignored — in the same way as Utah and Wyoming — as presidential candidates pander to the handful of battleground states that actually decide elections.
Pugliese’s arguments go beyond denying reality. They amount to disinformation. Notably, the Cortez Journal, Durango Herald and Grand Junction Daily Sentinel newspapers have all endorsed a yes vote.
If passed, Proposition 113 would amplify the Western Slope’s voice. This would also revitalize the state GOP at a time when conservatives wander the political wilderness thanks to Republicans blowing election after election. (Just look at this year’s election. Pugliese’s campaign is wasting money that should be spent on re-electing President Donald Trump and U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner.)
I also want to be clear: The Electoral College remains as-is under Proposition 113. As a conservative who campaigned for Tom Tancredo during the 2008 presidential primaries and caucuses, worked for U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz and supports President Trump, I would never support any proposal that altered the constitutional framework for electing the president.
Constitutionally conservative and constitutionally consistent, Proposition 113 exercises the Colorado General Assembly’s authority under Article II of the U.S. Constitution to replace the state-based, winner-take-all method of awarding electoral votes — a method James Madison, who wrote the Constitution, opposed. Notably, Colorado’s present method is not in the Constitution, was not debated at the 1787 constitutional convention and was never mentioned in the Federalist Papers.
States have routinely changed the method of awarding electors since the first presidential election. Examples include Massachusetts, which has changed its method 11 times. Changing the method of awarding electors does not change or abolish the Electoral College.
Opponents also falsely claim that rural areas would be disenfranchised.
The numbers do not lie. Rural areas and the 100 largest cities each contain one-sixth of voters, which means big cities and rural areas are equal under a popular vote. Similarly, 82 percent of voters do not live in California and New York. Unless you reject basic math, it is impossible for 82 percent to be outvoted by 18 percent.
In an election under the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact, the Democrat and Republican nominees would campaign in every county in every state because winning would become a numbers game. Each candidate would focus on running up the score in solid red and blue states. No longer would we elect a president of the battleground states. Rather, we would elect a president of the United States.
This explains why Trump says he supports a popular vote. He knows it’s easier for him and other Republicans to win if the vast swath of red America had a reason to vote.
Dennis Lennox is campaign manager of Conservatives for Yes on National Popular Vote. For more information, visit https://www.conservativesforyesonnationalpopularvote.com.