The Corner

That Colorado Initiative

A lot of Republicans have worried about the Colorado ballot initiative to allocate the state’s electoral votes in proportion to the state’s vote for president. The initiative is written to take effect immediately, so there is a scenario in which Bush wins the state, gets 5 of its electoral votes to Kerry’s 4, and loses the presidency because of it. The initiative is a bad idea. But I think it may very well fail. Or it may backfire: Kerry seems to think he can win Colorado, in which case the initiative would give Bush extra electoral votes.

Even if Bush wins the state, the amendment passes, and the electoral-vote race is very tight, the initiative still might not achieve the result its backers wanted. The initiative is supposed to take effect as soon as it becomes law. But when does it become law? The secretary of state is supposed to certify its passage by November 24. The governor has to proclaim it to be law within 30 days of that event. The electors meet on December 13. You do the math. This is a very poorly-conceived initiative.

Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review, a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.

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