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Colorado Amendment 36

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

In the November 2004 United States election, one of the issues up for a vote in the state of Colorado was known as Amendment 36. It was a ballot initiative for an amendment to the state constitution. It would have changed the way in which the state apportioned its electoral votes. Rather than assigning all 9 of the state's electors to the candidate with a plurality of popular votes, under the amendment, Colorado would have assigned presidential electors proportionally to the statewide vote count, which would be a unique system (Nebraska and Maine assign electoral votes based on vote totals within each congressional district). The amendment did not pass.


The amendment ultimately failed, garnering only 34% of the vote:

Colorado Amendment 36
Position Votes Vote %
Yes (proportional split) 355,712 34.10%
No (remains winner-take-all) 686,431 65.90%


The amendment is deeply intertwined with the 2004 presidential election, in which Republican George W. Bush ran against Democrat John Kerry.

As Colorado was expected to lean towards Bush, the passage of this amendment (generally favored by Democrats and opposed by Republicans), could have taken some electoral votes from Bush and assigned them to Kerry. Had such an apportionment been in place in 2000, Al Gore would have won the electoral college vote and become president.

However, as November 2004 neared, Colorado began to look increasingly like a swing state in which it was possible that Kerry would win. Many Democrats who had pushed for Amendment 36 therefore began to have second thoughts and withdrew their advocacy for and support of the amendment. This withdrawal of Democratic support has been blamed for the defeat of the ballot initiative on Election Day. In the end, Bush won the state, but this amendment would not have been sufficient for Kerry to win the election.

The applicability of this amendment to a presidential vote being conducted simultaneously was questioned and might have been the subject of a legal dispute had the amendment passed.

Despite being favored by the Republicans, Amendment 36 didn't seem to benefit them in the next three elections, as a Democrat would win all 9 of Colorado's electoral votes. (Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012 and Hillary Clinton in 2016, the worst performing Democrat in the general election in more than 30 years as of 2019.)

External links

This page was last edited on 25 July 2020, at 22:41
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