In a case that originated in Washington State, The United States Supreme Court has ruled 9-0 that State Presidential Electors – the individuals who officially cast the Electoral Votes used to determine the winner of a Presidential contest – can be punished for voting against the will of the electorate they represent, where they are otherwise known as a “Faithless Elector”.
From The Seattle Times:
“The case dates back to the 2016 election, when the three electors, Bret Chiafalo, Esther “Little Dove” John and Levi Guerra, cast their electoral ballots for Colin Powell, not Hillary Clinton, in a last-ditch attempt to try to get Republican electors to abandon Donald Trump.
All of Washington’s electors had signed a pledge to support the candidate that got the most votes, so Chiafalo, John and Guerra were fined, under state law, $1,000. (A fourth Washington elector, Robert Satiacum, also broke his pledge and did not vote for Clinton, but he was not involved in the court case.)
For three and a half years, they fought that fine through the court system, all the way to the Supreme Court. At stake was much more than a $1,000 fine. Rather, it was a question that had never been definitively answered in the more than 230 years since the Electoral College was created: Can presidential electors vote for whomever they want, or can states ensure they follow voters’ will?”
The ruling will help to ensure that the will of the voters cannot be overridden by individual Electors, and that Electoral Votes are assigned properly in future Presidential Elections.
For the full progression of the case and the final opinion from the Supreme Court of the United States, follow the link HERE.
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