Looking for the next Florida?
The Denver Post has this to say:
We urge voters to reject Amendment 36.
If the measure is approved, Colorado could lose political relevance as presidential candidates come to realize that there is so little at stake in Colorado. It wouldn’t be worth a candidate’s time to campaign here and to speak to Colorado concerns if the best result would be a one electoral vote advantage.
Never mind the constitutional crisis that would be provoked this year if the measure passes and Colorado’s unusual vote loomed as decisive between President Bush and Sen. John Kerry. The Amendment was written to apply to this year’s presidential election. In a close race, such as 2000, the inevitable litigation over that clause could throw the election into dispute.Proportional electors is an interesting idea if applied nationally. Applied to a single state it has the effect of marginalizing the importance of any particular state enacting similar legislation.
There are two real constitutional problems with the measure. 1) If passed the results of the 2004 presidential election would be allocated according to the scheme (most likely 5-4). 2) The measure usurps the constitutional requirement that the Colorado state legislature define the rules related to its electors to the Electoral College. My guess is that the Supreme Court would quickly strike down the law. The constitution is pretty clear on the Electoral College process.
The obvious Florida reference comes if the initiative passes and the overall electoral vote difference is less than 5 votes. There’s a variety of scenarios where either Bush or Kerry win the election by losing Colorado and the initiative passing. Next thing you know it’s a repeat of Florida 2000.
Anyone want to bet that the cable news networks are NOT praying for that kind of controversial result?