2019 Leg Session, Columnists, Electoral College, Featured, Gold Dome, Jon Caldara, National Popular Vote, Politics

Caldara: Let Coloradans decide National Popular Vote at the ballot

There is a constant progressive squawk about voter disenfranchisement.

We can’t have voter ID laws because requiring someone to use a state photo ID at a polling place, you know like they do when that same person buys a beer, is ugly voter suppression.

Weld County Clerk and Recorder Carly Koppes talks to a man about voter registration

The Colorado Secretary of State has over 380,000 inactive voters on our registration rolls. These are people to have chosen not to vote in the last several elections, or have chosen to move away, or have chosen to be dead.

There are many counties where the number of people registered to vote is actually higher than the population of the county. But any attempt to clean up voter rolls creates a shrieking choir of social justice warriors singing “voter suppression.”

Colorado has all mail-in ballots, which get flung in the mail like grocery store coupons to everyone who may or may not want to vote, including at least 380,000 we know don’t want them because, well, maybe they’re dead.

Colorado is the only state in the country with both all mail-in ballots and same-day voter registration, just in case someone who didn’t bother to register to vote might want to vote at the very last moment. He can stroll into a polling place on election day, show a copy of a utility bill, and vote a provisional ballot.

All this to make sure we’re not disenfranchised.

So how odd that the disenfranchisement-phobic progressives in charge of the Colorado state legislature are now passing a bill to do what they say they hate — disenfranchise all Colorado voters when it comes to voting for electors to represent Colorado in the Electoral College.

And the cherry on top — they are passing this “National Popular Vote Interstate Compact” without a popular vote of the people of Colorado.

Call it voter suppression.

Should the national popular vote plan become a reality, it would mean Coloradans would not decide to whom our nine (soon to be 10) electoral votes go in a presidential election. Highly populated metro areas like New York City and Los Angeles would dictate how our Colorado electoral votes are cast.

Fun fact, Los Angeles’s population alone is greater than the population of all of Colorado, by nearly double. Heck, it’s greater than the population of 41 states. And Los Angeles County voted 72 percent for Hillary Clinton.

Still wondering why the left is so nuts for the national popular vote?

Make no mistake. Under the interstate compact, it won’t matter how we as Coloradans vote.

But still, maybe you’re fuming over Trump’s win and you’re sold on the idea. Doesn’t it matter how we make this massive change?

Again, the question that haunts me: what happened to principled liberals, the ones that used to say the ends don’t justify the means. If the nation should have the popular vote, then amend the U.S. Constitution. If Congress won’t propose the amendment, the states can propose it via Article V of the Constitution.

Popular vote nuts won’t go that route because they know those pesky fly-over states would never ratify it. So, instead, the states controlled by their progressive urban centers, like Colorado now, can force it with an interstate compact.

It’s likely unconstitutional, but you never know until you try.

Just like when pro-tax liberals of both parties want to raise taxes without the consent of a public vote, they call a tax increase a “fee” to get around our Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights (TABOR), progressives want the national popular vote to decide who is president without amending the Constitution or even asking our consent.

Fortunately, we lowly citizens do have the right to referendum. That means we can veto a law the legislature and governor pass by putting it on the fall’s ballot. And that’s what the mayor of Monument and a Western Slope county commissioner have begun the paperwork to do with the national popular vote.

It is a difficult and expensive process to gather the needed 125,000 valid signatures to get it done, which further begs a question: If the legislature and our governor love the popular vote and hate disenfranchising voters so much, why don’t they prove it and just refer it to the ballot?

If they’re going to give our electoral votes to New York and California shouldn’t they ask our consent first?

Kinda makes you wonder if they respect us.

Jon Caldara is president of the Independence Institute, a free market think tank in Denver.


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