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Colorado Governor to Sign Bill to Sidestep Electoral College for Popular Vote

U.S. News & World Report logo U.S. News & World Report 2/25/2019 Megan Trimble
A lone voter cast her ballot at the Summit County Historic Courthouse in Breckenridge, Colorado on November 6, 2018. - Americans started voting Tuesday in critical midterm elections that mark the first major voter test of Donald Trump's presidency, with control of Congress at stake. (Photo by Jason Connolly / AFP)        (Photo credit should read JASON CONNOLLY/AFP/Getty Images) © (Jason Connolly/AFP/Getty Images) A lone voter cast her ballot at the Summit County Historic Courthouse in Breckenridge, Colorado on November 6, 2018. - Americans started voting Tuesday in critical midterm elections that mark the first major voter test of Donald Trump's presidency, with control of Congress at stake. (Photo by Jason Connolly / AFP) (Photo credit should read JASON CONNOLLY/AFP/Getty Images)

Colorado's governor is poised to sign a bill that aims to sidestep the Electoral College and award the state's presidential electoral votes to the winner of the national popular vote, according to The Hill.

Gov. Jared Polis, a Democrat, has indicated that he'd sign the measure, but he doubled down on his support on Sunday, telling The Hill that the Electoral College is an "undemocratic relic" and saying he's "long supported electing the president by who gets the most votes."

"It's a way to move towards direct election of the president," Polis said.

Under current state law, Colorado's electoral votes are cast for whoever wins in the state. But under the new measure, Colorado would join 11 states and the District of Columbia in the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact. Those states include: California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington state.

Together the states and D.C. have 172 electoral votes, and adding Colorado would bring the compact's electoral votes to 181. The compact would take effect after enough states join to bring that total to 270 – the minimum number of votes needed to guarantee a candidate the presidency.

The national campaign dates to Democratic candidate Al Gore's loss to Republican candidate George W. Bush in 2000, according to The Associated Press. Gore lost his bid for the White House despite having won the popular vote. And Colorado's campaign began after Democrat Hillary Clinton won the national popular vote but ultimately lost the presidency to President Donald Trump.

Supporters of the campaign say states' current winner-take-all statutes are unfair, but critics of the national popular vote campaign say the Electoral College safeguards the interests of states with smaller populations.

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