US Supreme Court Doubtful Over Legitimacy of “Faithless Electors”

The US Supreme Court heard arguments this week whether State Electors – those individuals charged with casting a State’s Electoral Votes in Presidential elections – can defy the will of the popular vote of a state’s electorate, and vote as they please without reprisal from the State. Such Electors are considered “Faithless Electors”, i.e. voting in bad faith. The case was made by three electors from Washington State.

From The Seattle Times:

“Those three electors, Bret Chiafalo, Esther “Little Dove” John and Levi Guerra, argued that once states have appointed presidential electors, the states have no power to control how the electors vote.

In 2016, the three electors, in a last gasp effort to prevent Donald Trump from becoming president, cast their electoral votes not for Hillary Clinton, who won Washington handily, but for Colin Powell. They hoped that by choosing Powell, a moderate Republican, they could get Republican electors from other states to abandon Trump and join them.

They were wrong. No Republican electors voted for Powell.

“We came together to truly try to represent what the founding fathers placed upon us as a responsibility,” Chiafalo said after Wednesday’s oral arguments. “I believe it was our constitutional responsibility to put our country over party.”

Chiafalo and John want to use their case as a vehicle that leads to the country abandoning the Electoral College.”

At the time, the only penalty in Washington State for an Elector voting in defiance of the will of the people was a $1,000 fine. The law has since been revised to allow the state to remove and replace an Elector who violates their mandate.

The Supreme County of the United States is schedule to rule on the matter this coming June.

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