FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, March 18, 2019
COLORADO JOINS MOVEMENT FOR ONE PERSON, ONE VOTE DEMOCRACY
A statement by Rev. Jesse L. Jackson, Sr.
Congratulations to Colorado Gov. Jared Polis for joining the crusade to create real democracy in the United States.
Gov Polis signed an Interstate Compact into law as part of the National Popular Vote (NPV) movement. The NPV will result in assigning Colorado’s Electoral College votes to the presidential candidate receiving the most national popular votes in the General Election regardless of whether that candidate wins Colorado or not. The legislation will only take effect if enough states pass similar compacts that total the 270 Electoral Votes needed to elect a president. Colorado's new law raises the current total to 181 electors.
Two of the last three presidential elections, beginning in 2000, have resulted in the candidate with the fewest popular votes becoming President. Democrat Al Gore (48.38 percent) got 550,000 more votes than George W. Bush (47.87 percent) in 2000 and Hillary Clinton (48.5 percent) received 2.86 million more votes than Donald Trump (46.4 percent) in 2016. It will be difficult to continue to believe in democracy and for the president to govern if that pattern continues.
The Electoral College is highly unpopular among the American people, but the requirement to change it – a Constitutional Amendment that requires two-thirds of both Houses of Congress and then three-fourths of the state legislatures – is a high mountain to climb. So FairVote and many other organizations, including the Rainbow PUSH Coalition, are leading the National Popular Vote movement to affirm that presidents should be elected with the popular vote of the American people.
The Electoral College is a relic of the three compromises the Founding Fathers made to the institution of slavery: (1) counting slaves as three-fifths of a person for congressional representation as a concession to the South; (2) allowing the continuation of the international slave trade for 20 years; and (3) the Electoral College to disproportionally empower the slaveholding states. The U.S. Constitution is loved and copied around the world by many nations, but this is one provision that’s never been copied. It’s time to end the third compromise like we ended the first two.
The twelve states and DC that have signed on are Colorado, California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington and the District of Columbia. A similar bill is on the desk of New Mexico’s governor waiting to be signed and that would add five more votes to the total – and another step closer to true democracy.
Rainbow PUSH Coalition is a multi-racial, multi-issue, progressive, international organization that was formed in December 1996 by the Reverend Jesse L. Jackson, Sr. through merging of two organizationshe founded Operation PUSH People United to Serve Humanity (estab. 1971) and the Rainbow Coalition (estab. 1984). With headquarters in Chicago and offices in Washington, D.C., Atlanta, Detroit,Houston, Los Angeles, New York and Oakland, the organization works to make the American Dream a reality for all citizens while advocating for peace and justice around the world. RPC is dedicated to improving the lives of all people by serving as a voice for the voiceless. Its mission is to protect, defend and gain civil rights by leveling the economic and educational playing fields while promoting peace and justice around the world.