When Colorado voters go to the polls Tuesday, they wonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t just be voting for president. They also will be voting on a state constitutional amendment that could decide the outcome of the presidential election.
Amendment 36, as ColoradoÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s ballot initiative is known, would change the way the stateÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s nine electoral votes are allocated from a winner-take-all basis to a proportional system depending on each candidateÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s share of the popular vote.
If passed, the proposed amendment would take effect immediately, meaning that the winner of the presidential contest in Colorado would likely end up with five electoral votes and the loser with four. Nebraska and Maine follow a similar system.
Most pre-election polls are calling for a close race, meaning a split in ColoradoÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s electoral vote could wind up costing either candidate the election. If it does, litigation is all but inevitable, requiring the courts to determine whether a state can change its method of selecting presidential electors by voter initiative and whether Amendment 36 can properly be applied to TuesdayÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s election.
The possibility is not as farfetched as it might seem. Had Amendment 36 been in effect in 2000, Al Gore would now be president.