COLORADO SPRINGS – The debate over the National Popular Vote may be finished at the State Legislature, but the issue is far from over for the people of Colorado. Supporters and opponents of the idea each are holding events in Colorado Springs this weekend in anticipation of what could become a ballot question for voters in the 2020 election.
The League of Women Voters of the Pikes Peak Region will host activist Sylvia Bernstein as a keynote speaker for their annual meeting on Saturday morning. Bernstein is the Co-Chair of the Colorado National Popular Vote and lobbied state lawmakers to pass the bill.
“We’re non-partisan but we think it’s all about keeping democracy working properly, and this is a big issue right now that is very popular,” explained event organizer Kay Tuschen.
Bernstein will give a speech titled Making Every Vote Count beginning at 9:30 a.m. at the Gill Center for Public Media at 315 E. Costilla Street downtown.
“She’s going to give a presentation, and she’s going to talk a little about how the electoral college works,” Tuschen said.
For a different perspective, look no further than the local library. Volunteers with the group Coloradoans Vote will be collecting signatures for a petition to put the new law on the ballot at both the Ruth Holley Library (684 N. Murray Boulevard), and the Old Colorado City Library (2418 W. Pikes Peak Avenue) from 10:00 a.m. until noon.
“The reason we filed the referendum is because we knew we had a lot of support,” said petition organizer Don Wilson. “The magnitude of support, I don’t believe we were expecting.”
He said at least 2,000 people from around the state have come forward to serve as volunteers gathering signatures. Petition packets with at least 160,000 signatures lines have been distributed around the state. A large rally in support of the effort is also scheduled for 10:00 a.m. Saturday at Two Trees Farm in Fort Collins.
According to the Colorado Secretary of State’s Office, the group must submit a minimum of 124,632 valid signatures by August 1 to put the referendum issue on the 2020 ballot. Wilson said his goal is 200,000 signatures.
“August 1st is Colorado’s birthday, so we’ll be protecting Colorado as an individual state on Colorado’s birthday,” Wilson said.
The National Popular Vote is an interstate compact in which participating states pledge to award their Electoral College votes to the presidential candidate who wins the most votes nationwide, as opposed statewide. Legislatures in 15 states, representing 189 Electoral College votes, have passed National Popular Vote bills.