More on the Colorado Initiative


Ramesh Ponnuru makes a very good point about the Colorado initiative that would divide electoral votes with 5 for the winner and 4 for the loser. Even if it passes, it will probably not have its intended effects in this election.

According to Article 5, Sec. 1 of the Colorado State Constitution

The veto power of the governor shall not extend to measures initiated by or referred to the people. All elections on measures initiated by or referred to the people of the state shall be held at the biennial regular general election, and all such measures shall become the law or a part of the constitution, when approved by a majority of the votes cast thereon, and not otherwise, and shall take effect from and after the date of the official declaration of the vote thereon by proclamation of the governor, but not later than thirty days after the vote has been canvassed. This section shall not be construed to deprive the general assembly of the power to enact any measure.

Update [2004-10-5 15:32:37 by Erick]: Well, the theory might not be entirely sound due to the word “canvass.” C.R.S.A. Section 1-10-203 says the canvass must be completed within seven days of the election. If, however Colorado works like Georgia, the canvass is not official unless certified by the Secretary of State and the theory holds.

According to Colorado Revised Statutes Annotated Sec. 1-11-103(2), the Secretary of State must certify the results of the initiative within ten days of the abstract.

According to 3 U.S.C. Sec. 7,

The electors of President and Vice President of each State shall meet and give their votes on the first Monday after the second Wednesday in December next following their appointment at such place in each State as the legislature of such State shall direct.

So, to break this down for you, the election will happen on November 2, 2004. The Secretary of State does not have to certify the results until, at a minimum, the 13th of November. The Governor does not have to sign off on the initiative until December 13th, the same day the Electoral College meets. The Electoral College usually meets first thing in the morning and would most likely have all votes cast before the Governor even gets up to proclaim adoption of the initiative.

The initiative will probably fail and should, because it is stupid, but it will probably not prevent the Colorado Presidential winner from capturing all votes anyway.

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Erick Erickson

1 comment

  • Does your update matter? I would think that once the electors have been elected and certified, the measure not being in effect, it doesn’t matter whether the measure is certified before the electors vote. Am I wrong?

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