Making Democracy Work

Making Democracy Work: Legislative Actions

Legislative News and Action

LWVCO Legislative Letter

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CO Lawmakers to Consider Electoral College Workaround

February 15, 2017 - Eric Galatas, Public News Service (CO)

DENVER + A Colorado Senate committee considers a bill today that would ensure all of Colorado's nine votes in the Electoral College go to the presidential candidate who wins the national popular vote - even if that candidate did not win a majority of ballots cast in Colorado.

The elections director with Colorado Common Cause, Elizabeth Steele, says states that tend to always vote red or blue are passed over by campaigns, and tying electoral votes to the popular vote would force candidates to reach out to all voters, not just those in swing states.

"It would ensure that the person who gets the most votes wins the election," she said. "So, it will hopefully encourage people to go out and vote because their vote actually matters, whereas today, that's not necessarily true."

Critics have called Senate Bill 99 a knee-jerk reaction to recent Republican victories. But in 2000, George W. Bush lost by just over a half-million votes nationally, and in 2016 - despite his claims to the contrary - Donald Trump lost by nearly three million votes. Both won the presidency by securing a majority of votes in the Electoral College.

Steele argues the National Popular Vote initiative is a bipartisan effort. It has the support of the nonpartisan League of Women Voters since 2010, a group that has opposed the Electoral College since 1970.

Steele adds as a so-called "purple" state, Colorado has been in a position to swing elections, but that may not always be the case.

"It's not just about 'what's the situation today' with being a battleground state," she added. "It really is a question of 'what's the best reflection of democracy?' One person, one vote, in every state, and it counts for the presidency."

If Senate Bill 99 passes, Colorado would join ten other states and the District of Columbia that have signed onto the National Popular Vote Agreement. The agreement can take effect only when it's enacted by enough states to collectively control a majority of the total number of electoral votes.

2013 Making Democracy Work Award

The League of Women Voters of Montrose County, serving Montrose and Delta counties, bestowed its 2013 award on both a Montrose and a Delta County honoree selected by a LWV committee from nominees put forth by local residents. Nominations were open to any resident of Montrose/Delta County who has made a positive contribution to our community in areas such as Education, Community Service, Recreation, Social Services, Business, Government, Media, Environmentalism, etc.

The Montrose County award recipient was announced on Thursday, September 12, 2013 in a ceremony held at the Bridges Clubhouse in Montrose. A Selection Committee from the Delta unit made the difficult decision, choosing Carol McDermott as the award winner. Karen Connor, president, presented the plaque, and the winner received a warm and rousing ovation from the 40+ attendees. The evening provided an opportunity for elected officials, city and county leaders, and community supporters to fully acknowledge the tireless endeavors, some-times at personal expense, of those who so diligently strive to make all of our lives better.

Carol McDermott accepts the 2013 Making Democracy Award Work award in Montrose

Delta County's first "Making Democracy Work Award" ceremony was held September 27 at the Mountain Harvest Festival. Members of the community nominated nine individuals, all of whom were honored for their part in working to keep our communities strong, vibrant places to live.

Winner of the award for 2013 is Pam Bliss. Pam is the founder of North Fork Valley's High Country Shopper and of Jamaica Outreach, which serves orphans in Jamaica. She is the volunteer coordinator for Prevention & Recovery of Drug-Free Delta County, works with Habitat for Humanity, and is director of the North Fork Children's Christmas Party. Additionally, Pam is a liaison with the court and serves on the boards of Paonia State Bank, Families Plus, Delta County Memorial Hospital Foundation, and Rotary.

2012 Making Democracy Work Award

Six nominees for the first annual Montrose League Making Democracy Work Award were recognized for their outstanding contributions to the greater community. Robb Ruyle was chosen as the 2012 recipient. Ruyle was nominated because of his efforts over three decades to meet community needs through his small business, service on a variety of nonprofit boards, and his commitment to building a new library while serving on the Regional Library Board. He was identified as someone who has skills in listening to voices on both sides of an issue and being able to develop consensus.