The Colorado Senate this week passed a bill that would award the state’s electoral votes to the presidential candidate who wins the nationwide popular vote.
The Senate passed the measure along party lines in a 19-16 vote Tuesday, sending the bill to the state House for consideration.
The bill, known as the the national popular vote interstate compact, was sponsored by state Sen. Mike Foote (D), would require Colorado members of the Electoral College to cast their vote for the winner of the national popular vote.
The state’s nine electoral votes currently go toward the candidate who wins the majority of votes in Colorado.
The national popular vote interstate compact is an agreement among 11 states and the District of Columbia, but would only go into effect if there are enough electoral votes to influence the final Electoral College vote tally.
The states in the pact have 172 electoral votes — 98 short of the 270 needed to win the Electoral College.
“This really isn’t a red versus blue idea. This is about making sure that the president of the United States is elected by the entire nation, not just a handful of ‘battleground states’ that get to decide our presidential elections under the current system,” Foote said in a statement. “All of Colorado’s voters should be heard, regardless of whether or not we are considered a battleground state.”
Colorado Senate Republicans argued that it was unconstitutional to tie Colorado votes to national popular opinion.
“It says your votes and your choices are no longer your own,” GOP state Sen. Owen Hill said. “We are going to tie your representation to what the other 49 states choose.”
ALL 16 of your GOP Senators voted NO to curtailing the electoral college.
— Colorado Senate GOP (@ColoSenGOP) January 30, 2019
Democrats in other states have criticized the Electoral College following the 2016 election, when President Trump lost the popular vote to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (D) by almost 3 million votes.
Trump won 304 electoral votes compared to 227 for Clinton.