« Brennan Center says Florida has "massive discrepancies" in voter list | Main | The first thing to do is tax all the lawyers »

Colorado initiative seeks proportional presidential vote

The wealthy president of a Brazilian university is bankrolling an initiative to end Colorado's winner-take-all presidential electoral system. ...

For example, a candidate who wins 60 percent at the polls could snag five of the state's nine electoral votes, leaving the remaining four to a candidate who wins 40 percent on Election Day.

The group has begun to collect signatures; it needs 67,799 to get the measure on the ballot.

If approved Nov. 2, the constitutional amendment would affect this year's choice for president by immediately permitting the division of Colorado electoral votes. And it would mark the most ambitious Electoral College reform yet in the nation. -- Group pushes for vote switch: Colo. would split presidential tally (DenverPost.com)

The text of the initiative is here.

If every state adopted the proposal, we might begin to see a truly national election, rather than red-blue-purple trichotomy in which some states are ignored by the two parties because they are considered to safe territory for one party or the other. On the other hand, if only a few smaller states adopt this proposal, will it be worth diverting any campaign resources to such states? Since Colorado is already considered a purple state by some, this initiative (if already in effect) might have the perverse effect of making the national parties less interested in Colorado. It would only be worth one or two electoral votes to win it or win more of its votes, while it is worth 9 electoral votes now.

Thanks to Rick Hasen for the link.

Update: Kos has a contrary analysis:

But on a more immediate tactical level, this initiative will force Republicans to spend a great deal of money in Colorado when they hoped to completely ignore the state and take its nine EVs for granted. Despite all the talk of Colorado being in play this year, Kerry still has a ways to go before he pulls the state in play.

But with this initiative on the ballot, Republicans have to fight to defeat the initiative (millions will likely get spent on the effort), and also give the state some love (Bush's time and money) in case the initiative passed.

Oh well, as some fair and balanced media outlet says, "we report, you decide."


The organization behind the inititiative has a new site up for those curious: www.makeyourvotecount.net