There have been a number of diaries about Republican discussions about proportional electoral college voting in certain states. This is not a new idea.
After the 2004 election, there was a significant effort to change the Colorado constitution to adopt proportional allocation of electoral collge votes - if it had been in place in 2004, Al Goer would have been President.
The amendment failed - 65% to 35% - when the Democrats promoting the amendment withdrew their support.
The official "Blue Book" Pros and Cons below the squiggle
The "Blue Book" is the official document provided to voters in Colorado to explain an amendment. The text of Amemndment 34 was:
Text of Proposal:
Be it enacted by the People of the State of Colorado:
ARTICLE VII OF THE CONSTITUTION is amended BY THE ADDITION OF A
NEW SECTION, to read:
Section 13. Popular proportional selection of presidential electors.
(1) THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF COLORADO HEREBY FIND AND DECLARE THAT:
20 (a) THE UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION DELEGATES TO EACH STATE THE METHOD OF CHOOSING PRESIDENTIAL ELECTORS WHO ARE CHARGED WITH CASTING VOTES IN THE ELECTORAL COLLEGE FOR THE OFFICES OF PRESIDENT AND VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES;
(b) THE COLORADO CONSTITUTION RESERVES TO THE PEOPLE OF THIS STATE THE
RIGHT TO ACT IN THE PLACE OF THE STATE LEGISLATURE IN ANY LEGISLATIVE
MATTER, AND THROUGH ENACTMENT OF THIS SECTION, THE PEOPLE DO HEREBY
ACT AS THE LEGISLATURE OF COLORADO FOR THE PURPOSE OF CHANGING THE
MANNER OF ELECTING PRESIDENTIAL ELECTORS IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE
PROVISIONS OF ARTICLE II, SECTION 1 OF THE UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION;
(c) THE RIGHT TO VOTE FOR PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES IS A
FUNDAMENTAL RIGHT AND EACH PERSON'S VOTE IS ENTITLED TO EQUAL DIGNITY
AND SHOULD COUNT EQUALLY;
(d) THE PRESENT WINNER-TAKE-ALL METHOD OF AWARDING PRESIDENTIAL
ELECTORS IN COLORADO PERMITS A PRESIDENTIAL TICKET TO RECEIVE ALL OF
THIS STATE'S ELECTORAL VOTES EVEN THOUGH IT WINS LESS THAN A MAJORITY OF
THE BALLOTS CAST IN THIS STATE;
(e) THE WILL OF THE COLORADO ELECTORATE IS BEST REFLECTED BY THE
POPULAR PROPORTIONAL ALLOCATION OF ELECTORAL COLLEGE REPRESENTATIVES, BASED ON THE NUMBER OF BALLOTS CAST FOR THE RESPECTIVE PRESIDENTIAL TICKETS IN THIS STATE; AND
(f) IN THE STRONGEST POSSIBLE TERMS, THE VOTERS OF COLORADO DECLARE
THAT, BY APPROVING THIS INITIATIVE, THEY UNDERSTAND, DESIRE, AND EXPECT
THAT THE POPULAR PROPORTIONAL SELECTION OF PRESIDENTIAL ELECTORS IS
INTENDED TO APPLY RETROACTIVELY AND THUS DETERMINE THE MANNER IN
WHICH OUR STATE'S PRESIDENTIAL ELECTORS ARE CHOSEN AND OUR STATE'S
ELECTORAL VOTES ARE CAST FOR THE GENERAL ELECTION OF 2004.
(2) THE TOTAL NUMBER OF ELECTORAL VOTES TO WHICH COLORADO IS ENTITLED SHALL BE DIVIDED AMONG THE PRESIDENTIAL TICKETS ON THE GENERAL ELECTION BALLOT, BASED UPON THE POPULAR PROPORTIONAL SHARE OF THE TOTAL STATEWIDE BALLOTS CAST FOR BACH PRESIDENTIAL TICKET, SUBJECT TO SUBSECTIONS (3) AND (4) OF THIS SECTION. EACH PRESIDENTIAL ELECTOR SHALL VOTE FOR THE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE AND, BY SEPARATE BALLOT, VICE-PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE ON THE PRESIDENTIAL TICKET OF THE POLITICAL PARTY OR POLITICAL ORGANIZATION THAT NOMINATED THAT
(3) THE ALLOCATION OF A PRESIDENTIAL TICKET'S POPULAR PROPORTION OF THIS STATE'S ELECTORAL VOTES SHALL BE IN WHOLE NUMBERS AND SHALL BE MADE IN THE FOLLOWING MANNER:
(a) THE TOTAL NUMBER OF BALLOTS CAST IN THIS STATE FOR EACH PRESIDENTIAL TICKET AT A GENERAL ELECTION SHALL BE DIVIDED BY THE TOTAL NUMBER OF BALLOTS CAST FOR ALL PRESIDENTIAL TICKETS THAT RECEIVE VOTES AT THAT GENERAL ELECTION; AND
(b) THE PROPORTION OF A PRESIDENTIAL TICKET'S POPULAR VOTE, AS DETERMINED IN
PARAGRAPH (a) OF THIS SUBSECTION, SHALL BE MULTIPLIED BY THE NUMBER OF ELECTORAL VOTES TO WHICH COLORADO IS ENTITLED.
(4) THE NUMBER OF ELECTORAL VOTES THAT IS ATTRIBUTABLE TO THE BALLOTS CAST FOR ANY PRESIDENTIAL TICKET, AS DETERMINED IN SUBSECTION (3) OF THIS SECTION, SHALL BE ROUNDED TO THE NEAREST WHOLE NUMBER, SUBJECT TO THE FOLLOWING LIMITATIONS.
(a) NO PRESIDENTIAL TICKET SHALL RECEIVE ANY ELECTORAL VOTES FROM THIS
STATE IF ITS PROPORTION OF THE TOTAL BALLOTS CAST FOR ALL PRESIDENTIAL
TICKETS WOULD REFLECT LESS THAN A FULL ELECTORAL VOTE AFTER ROUNDING
TO THE NEAREST WHOLE NUMBER.
(b) IF THE SUM OF ELECTORAL VOTES ALLOCATED PURSUANT TO PARAGRAPH (a)
OF THIS SUBSECTION IS GREATER THAN THE NUMBER OF ELECTORAL VOTES TO WHICH COLORADO IS ENTITLED:
(I) THE ALLOCATION OF ELECTORAL VOTES TO THE PRESIDENTIAL TICKET RECEIVING AT LEAST ONE ELECTORAL VOTE AND THE FEWEST NUMBER OF BALLOTS CAST SHALL BE REDUCED BY WHOLE ELECTORAL VOTES UNTIL ONLY THAT NUMBER OF ELECTORAL VOTES TO WHICH COLORADO IS ENTITLED HAVE BEEN ALLOCATED; AND
(II) THE PROCESS SET FORTH IN SUBPARAGRAPH (I) OF THIS PARAGRAPH SHALL BE REPEATED IF, AFTER THE REDUCTION OF ELECTORAL VOTES AS SET FORTH IN SUBPARAGRAPH (I) OF THIS PARAGRAPH, THE TOTAL NUMBER OF ELECTORAL VOTES ALLOCATED TO ALL PRESIDENTIAL TICKETS REMAINS GREATER THAN THE TOTAL NUMBER OF ELECTORAL VOTES TO WHICH THIS STATE IS ENTITLED, AND SUCH PROCESS SHALL BE APPLIED TO THE PRESIDENTIAL TICKET RECEIVING AT LEAST ONE ELECTORAL VOTE AND THE NEXT FEWEST NUMBER OF BALLOTS CAST UNTIL THE TOTAL NUMBER OF ELECTORAL VOTES ALLOCATED TO ALL PRESIDENTIAL TICKETS IS EQUAL TO THE TOTAL NUMBER OF ELECTORAL VOTES TO WHICH THIS STATE IS ENTITLED.
(c) IF THE SUM OF ALL ELECTORAL VOTES ALLOCATED WOULD BE LESS THAN THE NUMBER OF ELECTORAL VOTES TO WHICH COLORADO IS ENTITLED, THE PRESIDENTIAL TICKET RECEIVING THE GREATEST NUMBER OF BALLOTS CAST SHALL RECEIVE ANY UNALLOCATED ELECTORAL VOTES UNTIL ALL OF THE ELECTORAL VOTES TO WHICH COLORADO IS ENTITLED HAVE BEEN ALLOCATED.
(d) IF TWO OR MORE PRESIDENTIAL TICKETS RECEIVE THE IDENTICAL TOTAL NUMBER OF BALLOTS CAST FOR ALL PRESIDENTIAL TICKETS AND THE ALLOCATION OF ELECTORAL VOTES TO WHICH COLORADO IS ENTITLED CANNOT BE PROPORTIONALLY ALLOCATED IN WHOLE ELECTORAL VOTES TO THESE PRESIDENTIAL TICKETS, THE SECRETARY OF STATE SHALL DETERMINE BY LOT WHICH OF THESE PRESIDENTIAL TICKETS WILL HAVE THEIR NUMBER OF ELECTORAL VOTES INCREASED OR DECREASED BY A WHOLE ELECTORAL VOTE UNTIL ALL OF THE ELECTORAL VOTES TO WHICH COLORADO IS ENTITLED HAVE BEEN ALLOCATED.blockquote>
The Pros arguments were:1 Arguments ForThe Cons were:
1) This proposal makes Colorado's electoral vote more accurately reflect the
statewide vote. Under the current winner-take-all system, one candidate automatically gets all of the state's electoral votes, even if he or she doesn't win a majority of votes on election day. Instead, Colorado's electoral votes should reflect all candidates who have widespread support, not just the candidate who gets as few as one more vote than another.
2) This proposal may motivate more people to vote because the votes of more Coloradans will be represented in the electoral college. Under the current system,
eligible citizens may not bother to participate in elections if they believe that their vote
will have no impact on the outcome, especially voters not affiliated with a political party. The proposal may also encourage minor-party candidates to pay more attention to Colorado issues, in hopes of winning an electoral vote.
19 Arguments AgainstSeems we are looking in a mirror. Except, a big point is that this was a statewide popular vote - not a congressional district allocation. The Cons would be even more valid here - why campaign where the congressional districts are so "safe" there is no ability to influence. States with gerrymandering would have lost congressional clout - no need to keep "those people" happy.
1) Colorado will likely become the least influential state in presidential elections
because our current nine electoral votes will almost always be split 5-4. By awarding
nine electoral votes to the winner, the current system encourages candidates to campaign in the state on issues of importance to Coloradans. In contrast, the proposal reduces the incentive to campaign in Colorado when a candidate might only pick up one or two additional electoral votes.
2) By making it easier for minor-party candidates to win electoral votes in
Colorado, the proposal could lead to a situation where no candidate wins a majority of
the electoral vote nationally. If this happens, the presidency would be determined by the U.S. House of Representatives with each state getting only one vote. Smaller states then would have disproportionate power, further weakening the popular vote by increasing the chance that the U.S. Congress, not the public, will elect the president.
FYI, one of the big discussion points from Republicans was arguing that Amemdment 34 should only go into effect when a majority of electoral votes would be allocated proportionally.
It is helpful to reflect and be able to point out that Republicans have fought these efforts in the past in other states, The simple questions is:
If you hated these efforts in the past, why is this an idea whose time has come now?
Pull out and atribute Republican attacks against Amendment 36 and put it in their faces. Point out that this is a naked political move (yes, acknowledge Ds have tried it elsewhere and failed. Acknowledge and agree it was right to defeat it then and it is right to defeat it now).