The state of Colorado is being sued by government watchdog Judicial Watch for refusing to turn over information disclosing how Colorado’s secretary of state helped the state legislature in its attempted end-run around the Electoral College.
The state’s lawmakers voted last winter to allow massive population centers on the East and West coasts to decide where Colorado’s modest number of Electoral College votes would be cast in presidential races.
Under the Constitution, the Electoral College gets one vote for each member in the U.S. Congress, there currently being a combined House and Senate total of 538.
Thus, it requires 270 votes for a win in a presidential race.
But, infuriated by the 2016 election, when Donald Trump easily won in the Electoral College despite Hillary Clinton winning the popular vote, Democrats have been working on upending that constitutional process.
Because a constitutional amendment is unlikely to succeed, leftist states have been adopting a “National Popular Vote” concept whereby they pledge their votes to the winner of the national popular vote.
For Colorado, this would effectively amount to casting its votes in accordance with the wishes of the tens of millions of voters in California as well as large blocs of voters in New York and other massive coastal population centers, which vote predominantly for Democrats.
Judicial Watch said it is suing Colorado under the Colorado Open Records Act on behalf of reporter Todd Shepherd. The action was filed against Secretary of State Jena Griswold, a Democrat, who has openly endorsed abandonment of the Electoral College.
The suit was filed after Griswold refused to turn over certain documents in response to a February 4, 2019, open records request for records about the Electoral College debate, Judicial Watch reported.
“On February 21, 2019, the Colorado House passed the National Popular Vote bill and sent it to Gov. Jared Polis. Colorado Secretary of State Griswold is a critic of the Electoral College and applauded Gov. Polis’s signing of the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact,” the government watchdog reported.
“Currently, most states award all their Electoral College votes to the candidate who wins the popular vote in that state. But … when a state, such as Colorado, ‘passes legislation to join the National Popular Vote Compact, it pledges that all of that state’s electoral votes will be given to whichever presidential candidate wins the popular vote nationwide,’ rather than the candidate who won the vote in just that state. These bills will take effect only when states with a majority of the electoral votes have passed similar legislation and joined the compact,” the organization said.
There have been five times when a presidential candidate was elected even though not winning the national popular vote. Such totals can end up that way because of massive populations in states like California, where tens of millions can vote for a Democrat, and the state can cast its EC votes for the Democrat, but still be outvoted by other states with smaller populations voting for the Republican in the Electoral College.
“Many opponents of President Trump have proposed undoing the Electoral College. Supporters of the Electoral College point out that it balances the interests of citizens in both large and small states by requiring candidates to seek votes in less populous states whose interests might otherwise be ignored. In addition, under the reform, a state could award its Electoral College votes to a presidential candidate who lost the state’s popular vote,” Judicial Watch said.
“Leftists in Colorado and other states want to undo the Electoral College and the U.S. Constitution in the hopes of guaranteeing control of the presidency,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “This attack on the Electoral College would give large left-leaning states and voter fraud an unconstitutionally outsized impact on the outcome of our presidential elections.”
The Washington Free Beacon had reported that Griswold refused to allow reporters to see internal communications from her office on her campaign for the NPV effort.
She had testified to the Legislature in favor of the move to remove the Electoral College from the process.
Griswald claimed some of the documents were “work product” and therefore excluded from the public.
Her decision came even as she promoted transparency on her state website, stating, “There will be some Democrats and some Republicans who will say they have concerns about more transparency. But I believe that the majority of us here can agree that transparency is good for democracy and we can do more. Campaign finance reform is about making sure that everyone plays by the same set of rules; it’s about giving voters the facts.”
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