Colorado Passes National Popular Vote Compact

We may be a little closer to ending the tyranny of the Electoral College.

Searching to see where the national vote totals for President Trump and Joe Biden stood, I inevitably got a link to the website of the National Popular Vote compact. It notes that Colorado is about to become the first state to pass the initiative, which we’ve written about here many times over the years, at the ballot box. That brings the total up to 209 Electoral votes out of 270 needed.

In addition to the Colorado news, I was somewhat amused by the collection of articles highlighted on the main page:

It’s like a Steven Taylor’s Greatest Hits album.

UPDATE: Per Michael Cain‘s comment below, the Colorado legislature had already passed the law last year. The voters merely affirmed it yesterday. Additionally, the NPV website was already counting Colorado in its 196 Elector figure, so I made an error in adding another 9.

So, here’s where we are:

So far, 15 states and the District of Columbia — totaling 196 electoral votes, including Colorado — have signed onto the compact, putting the effort 74 electoral votes away from hitting its target. Backers of the proposal say it has passed one chamber of the state legislatures of nine additional states whose electoral votes total 88. If those states join the compact, the compact will pass the 270-vote goal.

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2020, Politics 101, US Politics
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. OzarkHillbilly says:

    It’s like a Steven Taylor’s Greatest Hits album.

    Heh. Thanx James, I needed that chuckle.

  2. Michael Cain says:

    Technically, the legislature passed it earlier this year and the governor signed the bill, but except for emergency legislation all new laws have a 90-day waiting period. If opponents can collect enough signatures during that 90 days, the law goes to the voters. Even though it passed, it got on the ballot because enough people opposed it.

  3. Sleeping Dog says:

    It won’t pass Constitutional muster with the SC. I don’t care what argument you make for it.

  4. James Joyner says:

    @Sleeping Dog: Doug Mataconis has argued that the Interstate Compact Clause would require Congressional approval. But, aside from that, the Roberts Court has been very deferential to the wishes of state legislatures exercising their plenary power under the Constitution over elections.

  5. It’s like a Steven Taylor’s Greatest Hits album.

    Coming soon, from K-TEL!

  6. Sleeping Dog says:

    @James Joyner:

    I would agree with Doug. Accuse me of cynicism, but the Roberts’ SC and really only Roberts, is primarily solicitous to the states v. the Feds, but it wouldn’t be hard, I could do it, to dream up an originalist argument against the compact and have it pass 5-4 w/o Roberts.

  7. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @James Joyner: True, but this change seems categorically different to me with legislatures overruling the “voice of the sheeple people.” On the other hand, we may get to see whether he’s a justice or a hack. That would be good to know.


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