Colorado Conisders Splitting Electoral Votes

In a move that I find strikingly intelligent, Colorado citizens will vote in November on a measure that would change how the electoral college works in their state. As the process stands now, a candidate view for electoral votes state-wide. Whoever gains more electoral votes overall in the state actuall gets every one of them, not whatever proportionate value they deserved. For instance, if John Kerry won enough districts to get 4 electoral votes, while Bush won five of them, Bush would actually walk away with 9 electoral college votes total.

The argument standing is that this means that no every vote counts in this situation, as a single vote cast in another district can basically negate your own. Under the new system, Kerry would keep his four votes while Bush would take his five, which he certainly deserved. This basically evens out the districts, making every one of them worth the same, overall. Proponents of the system are hoping to get it passed in November and have it active when the Electoral College is counted in January:

Secretary of State Donetta Davidson said Friday that supporters have gathered enough signatures to put the measure on the November ballot. If the proposal had been in place four years ago, Democrat Al Gore would have earned enough electoral votes to go to the White House. He got 266 electoral votes to President George W. Bush's 271.

Only two other states do not have winner-take-all systems of casting electoral college votes. Nebraska and Maine each give two votes to the winner and their remaining electoral college votes are cast according to who won each congressional district.

Republican Gov. Bill Owens and state party chairman Ted Halaby have criticized the proposal, saying it would lessen the state's clout in presidential elections. They warn candidates will ignore the state and its nine electoral votes if the measure passes.

Julie Brown, campaign director for the Make Your Vote Count effort that supports the measure, dismissed their concerns. "It begs the question on which is more important - a two-hour presidential stop at a tarmac at Denver International Airport or true representation by the voters."

I support the measure whole-heartedly and hope other states take notice, if it passes in CO. Of course, every story has a dissenting opinion; funny how it always comes from the right. Here's what one opponent of the measure had to say:

Katy Atkinson, a spokeswoman for the opposing Coloradans Against a Really Stupid Idea, promised a challenge if the measure passes and is applied in this year's presidential race. This forum post at Grassroots Buzz covers the issue a bit heavier, I think, and has launched intelligent discussion. The proposal's backers want it to take effect before Colorado's electoral votes are cast in December. "They are ripe for a court challenge on this," Atkinson said. "If this is a close race like the one four years ago, we could be thrown into a situation where we are the Florida of 2004. We'd be the laughingstock of the country. All those Florida jokes would be applied to Colorado."

"Coloradans Against a Really Stupid Idea." Do republicans have any idea how to oppose something without being crude and sounding angry? I've never heard such a blatantly sick name of a political action group. Why anyone would actively join a group with a name so beligerent is beyond me. But then, they're Republicans, so I can't pretend to understand.
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