Just a few months ago, Colorado agreed to radically rethink the way the president is chosen in the United States.
The state joined a compact to award its electoral votes to the candidate who wins the national popular vote. The plan would become law if states representing 270 electors join, ensuring the popular vote winner the presidency. (So far, 16 states, representing 196 electors, have joined.)
That decision, approved by the state’s Democratic governor in March, prompted a serious backlash that culminated this week, when activists submitted a petition to repeal the law by referendum in 2020.
The contentious fight, with fundraising and grass-roots organizing on both sides, reflects a national reckoning with how U.S. leaders are elected that intensified after 2016, when President Trump won the election but lost the popular vote by about 3 million ballots.