A current GOP candidate for Colorado governor has an idea to elect the first Republican governor in 50 years: stop counting each vote equally.
9NEWS reported that leading Republican governor candidate Greg Lopez is proposing that the state eliminate the popular vote in statewide races — and instead adopt a quasi-electoral college system.
“Former Parker Mayor Greg Lopez, who holds the top line on the 2022 Republican primary ballot, says Colorado should create an electoral college system for electing candidates to statewide office,” reported Kyle Clark. “The plan, which would be the first of its kind on the state level, would give far more voting power to Coloradans in rural, conservative counties and dilute the voting power of Coloradans in more populous urban and suburban areas. Lopez outlined his proposal at a May 15 campaign stop in Silverton. An audio recording of the event made by a political tracker was provided to 9NEWS.”
Lopez wants to give each county between three and eleven electoral votes, depending not on their population, but on their voter turnout rate. 9NEWS reports, “Colorado’s rural, conservative counties had seven of the 10 highest voter turnout percentages in the 2018 race for governor. Those counties had an average of 1,077 ballots cast in the election.”
Under this system, Democratic Gov. Jared Polis who won the popular vote by double digits would have lost by 181 electoral votes to the 263 under Lopez’s electoral college plan.
“Lopez’s weighting system would have given the 2,013 combined voters in Hinsdale, Kiowa and Mineral counties a total of 33 electoral votes, more than double the 14 electoral votes of Denver, Arapahoe and Adams counties’ combined 761,873 voters,” said the report.
University of Denver Assistant Profes said the plan would be ruled unconstitutional under the Supreme Court’s landmark 1964 ruling in Reynolds v. Sims, which enforced the principle of “one person, one vote” in state elections.
“The Supreme Court struck that down on the principle of one-person, one-vote. So I think that case, although it’s a little different, demonstrates that just because something is in the U.S. Constitution doesn’t mean it’s actually democratic or constitutional at the state level,” Chatfield said.