GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. — Dennis Lennox, a representative of the group Conservatives for Yes on National Popular Vote calls himself a Constitutional Conservative. And he’s a big proponent of Prop 113.
“A yes vote on Proposition 113, it ensures that every single Colorado voter, particularly here on the Western Slope, is politically relevant, by ensuring that the candidate who gets the most vote wins,” says Lennox.
If passed Prop 113 would guarantee a decision Colorado lawmakers made last year to join a compact of states that pledged to pool their electoral votes for the winner of the national popular vote. This means Colorado’s nine electoral votes would go to the Presidential candidate that wins the national popular vote. Opponents say pooling Colorado’s electoral votes for the winner of the national popular vote would lead to giving the centennial state’s votes away to places like New York or California.
“We believe that Colorado’s vote for President should stay in Colorado with Coloradans,” says Rose Pugliese, the Mesa County Commissioner and opponent of Prop 113. Pugliese says working with fellow Coloradans is a better plan than joining other states with larger populations, no matter the outcome. “It’s up to me to help mobilize people to influence my fellow Coloradans,” says Pugliese. “Even if it doesn’t go to the candidate that I believe it should go to, I still think Coloradans should be in control of that vote.”
But Lennox believes in our current voting system, only swing state votes are treated as relevant, and the President is decided by voters in battleground states like Pennsylvania and Michigan.
In a state like Colorado where the Democrats hold more power, the national popular vote would benefit Republicans, and increase voter turnout.
“I’ll take President Trump’s word for it that he supports a national popular vote because red America would win,” says Lennox.
Whether you vote yes or no, the future of Colorado’s votes will be decided on November 3rd.
“Proposition 113 is constitutionally consistent, it’s constitutionally conservative,” says Lennox.
“Right now we have a lot of national influence over public policy, so we don’t want to give that voice and vote away,” says Pugliese.
The last two Presidential candidates that won more popular votes but lost the electoral college were both Democrats. One was Hillary Clinton in 2016, and the other was Al Gore in 2000. But Lennox says that information is irrelevant because the candidates weren’t campaigning to win popular votes.
Even if passed, 113 would not go into effect this election cycle. All of Colorado’s electoral votes this year will be going to the winner of Colorado’s popular vote.