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National popular vote bill passes key test in Colorado House

The Colorado House signaled in a vote late Wednesday that it will support joining a multistate effort to change how the country elects its president.

The effort is called the national popular vote interstate compact, and a bill that would pledge Colorado’s nine Electoral College votes to whomever wins the national popular vote for president passed its second reading in the state House on Wednesday night. The bill, which already passed the Senate, will likely get a final House vote Thursday and could be on Gov. Jared Polis’ desk by the end of the week.

The Democratic governor is expected to sign it.

House Republicans spent several hours objecting and offering amendments, including one by Rep. Lori Saine, R-Firestone, that implied Democrats were pushing this idea because of their disdain for President Donald Trump. All failed.

Hillary Clinton received nearly 3 million more votes nationwide in the 2016 election, but she lost the election in the Electoral College. Saine asked whether support for the compact would evaporate if Trump won the popular vote in 2020.

“I think we would see a lot of defections, and that’s hardly fair,” Saine said.

The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Jeni Arndt, D-Fort Collins, told The Denver Post in an interview earlier this month that regardless of how an individual election turns out, she believes a system of “one person, one vote” is better.