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Tue May 12, 2020, 12:05 PM

Supreme Court to weigh state's actions against rogue electors

Bret Chiafalo was one of the “faithless” Washington electors fined $1,000 by the secretary of state for not keeping his pledge to back Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton in 2016.

Chiafalo, Esther John of Seattle and Levi Guerra of Warden fought their fines, contending the civil penalty infringed on their constitutional rights to free speech, which allowed them to vote their conscience as members of the Electoral College.

“At the end of the day we were trying to put country ahead of party,” Chiafalo said Monday. “We were exercising the responsibility given to us by the Constitution.”

A year ago, in an 8-1 decision, the state Supreme Court upheld the fines, concluding the state is empowered under the U.S. Constitution not only to draw up the rules for electors but also to determine how to enforce them.

Chiafolo and his co-defendants seek a reversal of that ruling.

At issue is the extent of a state’s power to enforce how a presidential elector casts his or her ballot.

If justices side with faithless electors, it could inject a degree of havoc and uncertainty when the Electoral College convenes in December to formally select the next president. And it could energize a movement that wants to require that U.S. presidents be elected based on results of the popular vote nationally, not ballots cast by the 538 state-appointed members of the Electoral College.

https://www.heraldnet.com/news/supreme-court-to-weigh-states-actions-against-rogue-electors/?utm_source=DAILY+HERALD&utm_campaign=8c39688978-RSS_EMAIL_CAMPAIGN&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_d81d073bb4-8c39688978-228635337

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Response to Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin (Original post)

Tue May 12, 2020, 12:49 PM

1. I will probably be in the minority on this one, but I hope they side with the Electors

The Constitution is pretty clear on this one, they get to vote for anyone they feel like voting for, and should not be punished in any way for not voting for who they were elected to vote for. I'm hoping for a 9-0 or 8-1 decision.

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Response to Polybius (Reply #1)

Tue May 12, 2020, 12:58 PM

2. Totally disagree. That makes those electors inevitably open to bribery.

This is the DU member formerly known as OregonBlue.

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Response to OregonBlue (Reply #2)

Tue May 12, 2020, 01:04 PM

3. Maybe they can have an exception, like yelling "fire" in a crowded theater is to the 1st Amendment

No bribery or you go to jail.

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Response to Polybius (Reply #3)

Wed May 13, 2020, 05:26 PM

4. Good luck with that, given the current state of our government

This is the DU member formerly known as OregonBlue.

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Response to OregonBlue (Reply #4)

Thu May 14, 2020, 03:06 AM

5. If the electors are rubber stamps, then what's the point of the EC?

I really think this could be a 7-2 decision.

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Response to Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin (Original post)

Thu May 14, 2020, 03:57 AM

6. Faithless electors will hurt Dems more than the GOP

There's a much greater chance of a left wing Dem, such as a Bernie supporter/Jill Stein type of Democrat voting against Biden than any Republican voting against Trump. Actually, there were several such instances in 2016 against Hillary.

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Response to Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin (Original post)

Thu May 14, 2020, 04:28 AM

7. There is an easy way to eliminate this problem altogether

If we insist on keeping the Electoral College, an anachronism in the first place, since there is no longer any danger of Delaware or Rhode Island refusing to join the Union in 1787, then the electoral votes should just be awarded automatically. There is certainly no need to send chosen electors to some gathering to formalize the count. That, too is an anachronism, and a fully unnecessary one.

An elector volunteers to do their duty and carry out the task they have pledged to do. Yes, they are susceptible to bribes or even twangs of conscience. I remember when a few electors for Bush I were getting cold feet about casting their pledged votes for him because it meant putting Dan Quayle a heartbeat away from the presidency. I have to wonder if any of the electors pledged to vote for John McCain in 2008 were having the same thoughts about Sarah Palin, although we luckily never had to worry about that with Obama's decisive margin of victory that year.

In the era of Trump, Republicans have tossed off all pretense of being opposed to corruption, and so electors being available to the highest bidder is no longer scandalous speculation, but more like a conceivable likelihood. If we can't get rid of the EC, we can al least get rid of for-sale electors, and just have the Federal Election Commission tabulate the electoral votes based on each state's results, and have the power to order a thorough, UNIMPEDED review of any state's votes should they seem in doubt (e.g. Florida 2000, Ohio 2004, several states in 2016). This would include an overseen count of paper ballots, plus a thorough, independently conducted forensic examination of every electronic voting machine used. A mandatory minimum five year jail sentence should be imposed on anyone found to have manipulated one of the voting machines, and that would go for anyone having instructed such a person to do so. If the technician having carried out the manipulation refuses to reveal the identity of the person who instructed him to perform his act, he then serves the extra five years that his boss would have served. THAT should provide some serious dis-incentive to anyone promised money to shut up if caught. Fifteen years extra if he falsely accuses someone in order to protect his higher-up.

Electoral fraud is ALWAYS committed by Republicans these days, so they will howl in protest, but ONLY Republicans will howl in protest. That will not escape the media. Maybe even some voters will figure it out.


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