Breaking news: Are you wavering on Amendment 36, Colorado’s proposed ballot measure that would proportionally split its nine electoral votes according to the popular vote? It’s time to get up to speed since Colorado’s Chief U.S. District Court Judge Lewis T. Babcock today threw out a legal challenge to the Amendment and will leave it to the voters to decide. Judge Babcock said it’s a state issue and he lacks jurisdiction to decide it.
Check out the pros and cons at Legal Affair’s Debate Club where nationally prominent law professors Richard A. Epstein of the University of Chicago and Sanford Levinson of the University of Texas duke it out and help you decide:
Next Tuesday, Coloradans may well decide the presidential election between Bush and Kerry. If the state’s citizens pass Amendment 36, Colorado’s nine electoral votes will be divided proportionally among the candidates. Because polls indicate a very close race, the candidate who wins might do so by grabbing five of those votes while the other top candidate scores four.
Colorado wouldn’t be the first state to split its votes–Maine and Nebraska already do. But Amendment 36 is freighted with constitutional ambiguities, like whether voters, and not the state’s legislature, can change the way its electors are appointed and whether the outcome of the presidential election can rest on an amendment voted on that same day.
The professors’ debate is a continuing one, so check back a few times between now and election day. If the discussion has too much legalese for your liking, try this from the non-partisan League of Women Voters.