Teaching about the 2004 Elections
Resources for Teachers

AMENDMENT 36: Selection
of Presidential Electors in Colorado

The 2000 Presidential Election created a great deal of interest in the Electoral College. In 48 states presidential elections are "winner take all" contests, awarding all their electoral votes to the candidate who wins the popular vote in their respective states. Currently two states—Nebraska and Maine—allocate their electoral votes differently. (Two electoral votes are awarded to the candidate who wins the popular vote in the state, and one electoral vote is awarded for each congressional district in which a candidate receives a majority. In practice, neither state has ever split electoral votes.)

If passed by Colorado voters on November 2, our state's nine electoral votes will be awarded proportionally to each presidential candidate in the 2004 election based on the popular vote.
Read the text of Amendment 36 below.

Teachers: Download "Opinion Ballot-Amendment 36" and other resources on the Initiative Process

Used with permission. Mike Keefe, Denver Post, September 26, 2004.

Used with permission. Ed Stein, Rocky Mountain News, Oct. 15, 2004.

Text: Colorado Amendment 36: Presidential Elector Selection
Analysis-Colorado Amendment 36: Colorado Blue Book
Colorado League of Women Voters: Brief pro and con arguments

Federalist Paper No. 68. The Mode of Electing the President. Alexander Hamilton, March 1788.
National Archives: The Electoral College. Frequently asked questions.
Electoral College Map: Politics 101: Site posted by PBS; Interactive Electoral College Map.
C-Span Electoral Map Poster: Free poster from C-Span; must sign up for free membership service.
Blank Electoral Map
Electoral Vote Predictor
: Site updated daily based on polling results by a Kerry supporter.

Recent Articles in Colorado Press on Amendment 36

Measure to split votes is losing
Ann Imse, Rocky Mountain News, Oct. 29, 2004
Amendment 36 Stays on Ballot
Alicia Caldwell, Denver Post, Oct. 27, 2004.
Judge dismisses challenge to Electoral College ballot measure
Steven K. Paulson, AP., Denver Post, October 26, 2004.
Amendment 36 foe readies his arguments
Karen Abbott, Rocky Mountain news, Oct. 23, 2004.
Proposal to split state's electoral votes is fairer to Coloradans
Nebraska State Senator DiAnna Schimek, Rocky Mountain News, Oct. 23, 2004
Voting no on 36 will shield state's influence, avoid legal nightmare
Ari Armstrong, Rocky Mountain News, Oct. 23, 2004
Don't Count on Electoral Fairness

Diane Carman, Denver Post, Oct. 19, 2004.
Lawsuit Challenges Colorado Electoral Plan
Steven Paulson, Associated Press, Oct. 13, 2004.
Making Colorado Relevant Reggie River's column, Denver Post, Oct.1, 2004.

Dividing Colorado's Vote: Amendment 26 would change presidential count
Denver Post, Perspective, Julia C. Martinez. September 26,2004.

Yes: Empower each voter: Denver Post, Perspective, Julie Brown. September 26, 2004.
No: We'd be insignificant: Denver Post, Perspective, Eric Sondermann, Septmember 26, 2004.

Amendment puts Colorado in world's eye
Jim Tankersley, Rocky Mountain News, September 22, 2004.
State's Influence at Risk: Vote against Amendment 36
Rocky Mountain News Editorial, Sept. 19, 2004.
Electoral Conundrum
Reggie River's column, Sept. 17, 2004, Denver Post
Amendment 36 would help third parties, politicos say
Gwen Florio, Sept. 14, 2004, Rocky Mountain News.
Electoral College Fantasy
Peter Blake, August 4, 2004, Rocky Mountain News.
Plan would dump Colorado's winner-take-all vote in November
John J. Sanko, Rocky Mountain News, July 31, 2004.
Speakout: Electoral College reform overdue for Colorado
State Senator Ron Tupa, Rocky Mountain News, July 18, 2004.
Group pushes for vote switch Colo. would split presidential tally
Susan Greene, Denver Post, June 15, 2004.
Make Your Vote Count: A Colorado Initiative for Electoral Reform
Electoral College Prank
Mike Rosen's Rocky Mountain News Column, May 28, 2004.

National Media on Colorado Amendment 36

As the Race Tightens, Enthusiasm for a Ballot Proposal Wanes
Kirk Johnson, The New York Times, Oct. 30, 2004.
Colorado voters lose interest in split
Valerie Richardson, Washington Times, October 30, 2004.
Electoral College alternatives deserve careful scrutiny
David Broder, syndicated columnist. Seattle Times, October 21,2004.
Support wanes for Colo. initiative to split electors
Klaus Marre, The Hill Newspaper for and about the US Congress, October 19, 2004
Colorado as ground zero in debate over Electoral College
Jeff Kass, Christian Science Monitor, Oct. 18, 2004.
The Florida of 2004?
Mitch Frank, Time Magazine, October 14, 2004.
Coloradoans to Consider Splitting Electoral College Votes

Kirk Johnson, Sept. 19, 2004. New York Times.
Colorado's Crucial Vote
George Will, The Last Word, Newsweek Magazine, August 30, 2004.
Scrap Electoral College Says New York Times
By REUTERS. August 28, 2004.
A Rocky Electoral Picture
Bruce Bartlett, National Review. August 23, 2004.

Colorado Dreamin'
Bill Whalen, The Weekly Standard, Aug. 18, 2004.
Colorado EV Splitting Initiative is on the Ballot
Weblog posted by DavidNYC, August 17, 2004,
A project to analyze the key swing states in the 2004 Presidential election.

Colorado Weighs Proportional Electoral Votes

AP. USA Today. August 16, 2004.

Additional Articles on the Electoral College

Abolish the Electoral College. Op-ed column. New York Times, August 20, 2004. (Part of editorial series in the New York Times, Making Votes Count.)
Fit to Be Tied
Robert Bennett, New York Times, August 11, 2004.
Electoral College Reform Falls Flat
Daniel Seligson, Staff Writer, Stateline, March 28, 2001.

Electoral College Pros and Cons: Page created and maintained by The Case Program, Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University. Last Modified March 1997.
Electoral College Reform: Advocacy group that considers the Electoral College outdated and ineffective.
Reform Options for the Electoral College: Site developed by the Center for Voting and Democracy; non-profit organization that conducts research and advocates for more democratic voting systems.
The Electoral College
Site with links posted by the Federal Election Commission.

Presidential Elections and the Electoral College From the American Memory Collection of the Library of Congress.

Disclaimer: The links on this page lead to other web sites that do not necessarily reflect the views of the Center for Education in Law and Democracy nor does CELD guarantee the accuracy or age-appropriateness of information presented on other sites.