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Fri Aug 23, 2019, 09:12 AM

Faithless electors: Trump's best hope

And it all may happen after Tuesday's ruling.

There have been other threads about this, but it never hurts to remind those who may have missed it the first time.

NY Times story

Electoral College Members Can Defy Voters’ Wishes, Court Rules

In a ruling that kicks at the foundation of how America chooses presidents, a federal appeals court on Tuesday said members of the Electoral College, who cast the actual votes for president, may choose whomever they please regardless of a state’s popular vote.

The ruling by the United States Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit in Denver said Colorado was out of bounds in 2016 when it canceled the vote of a so-called faithless elector named Michael Baca. Mr. Baca, a Democrat, wrote in the name of John Kasich, a Republican who was Ohio’s governor at the time, even though Hillary Clinton carried Colorado, earning its nine electoral votes. The secretary of state replaced Mr. Baca with another elector who then voted for Mrs. Clinton.

“The text of the Constitution makes clear that states do not have the constitutional authority to interfere with presidential electors who exercise their constitutional right to vote for the president and vice president candidates of their choice,” the court majority wrote in a split ruling by a three-judge panel.

Lawrence Lessig, a Harvard law professor who founded the group that brought the case, Equal Citizens, said it was the first time a federal appeals court had ruled on whether electors could be bound in how they vote. Many states, including Colorado, have laws requiring electors to pledge that they will support the winner of the popular vote. The Constitution is mute on the subject. The appeals court noted that a handful of faithless electors have broken pledges to vote with their state’s majority since the presidential election of 1796.

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Response to jayschool2013 (Original post)

Fri Aug 23, 2019, 09:20 AM

1. iirc there are 1000 dollar fines for them if they didnt vote for whomever won the state

This was an issue back when president failure was elected and we were hoping they wouldnt seat him . They were threaten with fines .

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Response to Fullduplexxx (Reply #1)

Fri Aug 23, 2019, 09:26 AM

2. A whole thousand dollars? Doesn't that sound too harsh!

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Response to jayschool2013 (Original post)

Fri Aug 23, 2019, 10:07 AM

3. So, why even bother?

I don't get it. If the fate of this country is in the hands of a few electors who can vote however they please, and we know how freaking frightening and persuasive the tyrant trump is.. I mean he already owns the SCOTUS and the DOJ, not to mention myriad RW judges in McConnell's Circuit du Corruption, why should we even bother to vote?

Sorry, but this is the most depressing news yet.

I guess I am hoping there is someone on the board who can talk me down..but the horror never ends.. it never freakin' ends.

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Response to jayschool2013 (Original post)

Fri Aug 23, 2019, 10:51 AM

4. Why isn't it equally plausible that faithless electors could prevent Trump from being re-elected?

Last edited Fri Aug 23, 2019, 11:59 AM - Edit history (1)

Faithless electors occur rarely not merely because some states have laws (now potentially invalid if the 10th circuit ruling isn't overturned) prohibiting the practice but also because the electors themselves typically are party loyalists. In other words, states don't have one slate of electors -- they have a Democratic slate and a Republican slate. When you vote, you're voting for that party's chosen slate of electors and most aren't likely to vote for the other party's candidate if their party's candidate won the state.

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Response to onenote (Reply #4)

Fri Aug 23, 2019, 11:48 AM

5. There were tons of posts here in 2016

pleading with electors in red states to change their votes to Hillary.

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Response to MichMan (Reply #5)

Fri Aug 23, 2019, 12:04 PM

6. And it didn't happen. But that doesn't mean that Trump supporters would be more successful

in getting Democratic electors to support Trump in 2020.

While several electors in states won by Hillary didn't cast their elector college votes for her, none of those faithless electors cast their votes for Trump. Three cast votes for Colin Powell, three for Bernie, and one for a Native American activist, Faith Spotted Eagle. A few Trump state electors refused to vote for him, opting for Kasich. And one Democrat, who wanted to spark an electoral college revolt against Trump cast a vote for Kasich as part of a plan to (i) hopefully spark a bi-partisan revolt of faithless electors against Trump and (ii) to set up the test case on faithless elector laws, which he just won.

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Response to jayschool2013 (Original post)

Fri Aug 23, 2019, 12:13 PM

7. We need to get rid of the fucking electoral college. If electors can vote for whoever the hell

they want, there is no point wasting time having an election. It's not hard to imagine electors being bought off. We could have zero bona fide votes for Madman 45 and he can still win. One person, one vote . . . bullshit.

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