It seems that at least two electors from Texas have decided to cast their electoral college vote not for the man they promised to, but someone else.
Christopher Suprun is one of those faithless electors:
"That was also the last time I remember the nation united," Suprun wrote. "I watch Mr. Trump fail to unite America and drive a wedge between us. Mr. Trump shows us again and again that he does not meet these standards. Given his own public statements, it isn’t clear how the Electoral College can ignore these issues, and so it should reject him."
"Fifteen years ago, as a firefighter, I was part of the response to the Sept. 11 attacks against our nation," Suprun wrote. "That attack and this year’s election may seem unrelated, but for me the relationship becomes clearer every day."
"The election of the next president is not yet a done deal," he wrote. "Electors of conscience can still do the right thing for the good of the country. Presidential electors have the legal right and a constitutional duty to vote their conscience."
http://patch.com/texas/downtownaustin/s … vote-trump
And yet, from Curt Nelson, a life-long Texas Republican and member of the Bexar County GOP"
“I was required to sign an affidavit with my party saying that I would cast my ballot based upon the will of the people here,” said Nelson, describing a policy years in place for both parties."
http://kxan.com/2016/11/07/an-in-depth- … ege-votes/
So to paraphrase Mr. Suprun, "The elite (including me) have no responsibility or ethical requirement to fulfill our promises. We have no need to validate our 'contract' with the people. We, being of superior abilities and understanding shall ignore the will of the people and do whatever pleases us". Apparently his "conscience" does not include keeping his word, or perhaps he just doesn't have one.
The truly sad part, though, is that those electors willing to set aside their ethics, ignoring their pledge and contract in order to make their own personal choice, haven't learned a thing from Trump's election. If there is one lesson to be learned it is that the people have spoken loud and clear that they do not want an elite set of masters in the swamp, masters without ethics, whose word is valueless, who abuse their power (as these electors are) to do as they wish rather than what the people that put them there want. And neither have those that are encouraging electors to set aside their ethics and violate their contract with the people. Perhaps it's a left wing thing - "I'm better and smarter than you so I must tell you what to do and how to live your life"?
Don't you get it? It is all a manipulation.
Whatever it is that is so obvious to you is escaping me. Sorry, I need more information.
Florida GOP Elector: "I Get 4000 Harassing Emails from Hillary Supporters a Day.."
The left is bullying electors with threats, veiled threats, targeted harassment, and spitting in the face of our democracy and the peaceful transition of power.
There is zero doubt that electors are being manipulated, just as the voters were in the election. But can you continue the thought with specifics?
They are only "faithless" if they are voting against the popular vote in their state.
So you think it's unethical to go against the popular vote?
We do not have mob rule, so it is best to let it go.
That is what is being asked - to go against the state popular vote and their affidavit promising to vote for that candidate. So yes, that makes it highly unethical. To paraphrase: "Yes, I pledged to support your choice as an elector (and it's often the law that I do so), but I will renege on that written pledge, ignore the law as not important and, rather than excusing myself from the duty, will cast your vote for the candidate you voted against." Faithless, unethical, immoral, scurrilous and completely without honor of any kind.
I think there is something to be said for respecting the popular vote too:
Hillary Clinton: 65 million*
Donald Trump: 63 million*
*rounded to the nearest million
I would hope that the electors understand how the system works and would keep faith with it, since they have agreed to work within it. If they don't then we do have a divided country. One side, sick of a failed system but working within it to let their frustrations be known. The other side, breaking the system to ensure they get their way because the rule of law doesn't apply if it thwarts their desires.
Very unlikely the result of the election will be changed, so it's all academic.
But is it the fact that some would be breaking state law, or the fact that some would be voting against the popular vote that's the issue?
For me, it is that they would be going against the popular vote within the state they serve. I've always been an advocate of one person, one vote but after all of the discussion and debate on this issue I have come to realize that a popular vote, nationwide, without some mechanism in place to let the citizens of each state feel that their vote mattered, would cause those of us in smaller, mostly rural, states to feel somewhat disenfranchised. I don't know. It wouldn't be unreasonable to have a suspicion that I have come to this through the simple fact that the candidate I voted for won. But, I never gave the electoral college a great deal of thought prior to this. I understood how it worked but hadn't put a lot of thought into why it worked.
Either way. Whether we keep it after this, or not, the important thing is that this is our way of electing a president. It is our assumption, as citizens, that the electoral college will keep faith with our wishes. To throw it all to the wind at this moment is not a good idea for the unity of this country. Or at least I don't think it is. If it happens, we shall see.
For me it is not so much the law, although that does matter. It is that the elector, the "politician" in this case, has decided that their word is worthless, that they are the elite and that they will do as they jolly well please without regard to the people. A complete and total lack of ethics and morals, in other words, coupled with "I know better than you do, I have the power, so will do whatever I please".
The same thing, in other words, that got Trump elected and that so many people don't seem to care about.
Wilderness, could you elaborate on that last brief paragraph. Are you saying that the fact that Trump won by the electoral votes, even though it is law, was a decision of the elite, i.e. the Electoral College? If so, would you be in favor of eliminating the EC after this election and give up the benefit to less populated states? That paragraph just left me a little confused.
No, not saying that at all. Meant that Trump won the election because people are sick and tired of politicians that have no ethics, whose word is without value, that violate the law and make decisions based on what they want rather than what the people want. And now those faithless electors are doing the same thing.
Trump was not elected on his platform; he doesn't have one. He wasn't elected on his record; he hasn't one. He certainly wasn't elected on his charming personality. He was elected because he isn't a politician and might not follow the path of the "leaders" now firmly entrenched as masters.
*edit* No, I would not favor eliminating the EC. With a better understanding of why it does what it does, I'm in favor.
They might as well seek a different career if they change their vote. One might (maybe two), but I believe they will think it through to their end, and rethink the possibilities ahead. Except that one...I think he is a plant. His name isn't even important to me.
Don't know that I would agree - millions of people would be quite happy to see it done. Surely someone out of that would hire them, and doubtless the Democratic party could find a place for them as well. Doubly so if HC ended up with the election, although I don't see that many turning their backs on honesty.
Thanks for the clarification. I knew I was misunderstanding you, just needed a little explanation. Platform, record, charming personality? I agree, no to all. I firmly believe that without the Evangelical vote, he would not have made it. MI, WI, PA and FL would have gone to HRC. And they seem to have supported him through the primaries as well. It just mystifies me that the evangelicals chose Trump as a demonstration of their dissatisfaction with the Republican party. They completely abandoned the issues they claimed to have held so tightly. They seem to have voted strictly on fiscal matters and dropped their social agenda.
I think it's real easy, after all the hoopla and mud slinging, to think that people voted for Trump because they like his bigotry, his racism, his in-your-face way of speaking.
But I don't think that's true. From the very first, people have said that they would vote Trump because he isn't a politician. That they're sick of the swamp. The media came along and blasted about racism and bigotry, but that wasn't what those evil Trump voters were looking at - it was just mudslinging that obscured the real reason for his popularity. He's the first man since Ross Perot to challenge the swamp and this time it worked, that's all.
So I don't think it was the evangelicals, I don't think it was the KKK, I don't think it was the bigots that swung the election. It was the millions upon millions that don't see their "leaders" doing anything for them but that DO see those same leaders without ethics or morals.
Once again we agree. It is mathematically true that without the evangelicals, Trump would not have won, but probably several other voting blocks could have had the same impact. Yes, millions voted to drain the swamp and I hope he is true to his word on that promise.
Mathematically true, yes. But also true that that group will vote Republican no matter who runs. It was the great numbers that could have gone either way, and have in the past, swinging towards a new, different form of leader, that did the "damage" to the Democrats.
These faithless electors bother me, and so do those encourage it as they don't seem to have gotten the message. It's also a little comical that as Trump picks his cabinet from the business world rather than the mud covered world of politics the shock to politicians is almost palpable. Were they really expecting to go on as before?
They are supposed to cast their ballot in line with the popular vote in their state. They can't pick and choose which state to use to determine what their vote will be.
Thanks for bringing up this important issue. I read the articles as well as your introduction. I find it offensive not only that Mr. Suprun feels so superior in his ability to discern the character of a man, but also that he has better judgment on normal issues such as whether a presidential candidate has enough experience in a particular area. The following quote by Suprun exemplifies my last point. "Mr. Trump lacks the foreign policy experience and demeanor needed to be commander in chief." Actually, we are seeing President-elect Trump carry out a type of "foreign policy" even now. He is dealing with foreign leaders of nations and businesses on a daily basis. His foreign policy will certainly be different, but that does not mean it will be inferior or wrong.
The founding fathers set up the Electoral College primarily because they wanted a safeguard in case the general population, which at the time was highly uneducated, chose a person of such diabolical character that they couldn't be allowed to take office. In such an extreme case, the electors could vote for someone other than the person their state designated. The population of this country is much more highly educated today and communication gives all of us the opportunity to know what a candidate is truly like. In the current environment, I cannot imagine a circumstance which would give an elector a valid reason to misrepresent his state.
Another question that has arisen around this issue is whether Suprun represents the State of Texas, which voted for Trump, or his voting district, which voted for HRC. Article Two of the US Constitution says, "But in chusing [sic] the President, the Votes shall be taken by States, the Representation from each State having one Vote." Nothing is said about a voting district. Only the state as a whole is mentioned. Mr. Suprun does not understand his responsibility as an elector. He is responsible to represent the State of Texas.
Certainly the electors have the freedom to vote contrary to the will of their state. But it should be only in an extreme case. If the present election of Donald Trump is considered by some to be extreme, keep in mind that the popular vote in 36 of 50 states elected the man.
I'm not sure that I can agree that the EC was originally set to keep obviously inferior candidates from the office. Yes, some of the elite then expressed that the elite must retain control, but that is a different matter entirely. But even if it WAS set up for that reason, a large part of it is that very few people could ever see or hear any specific candidate, while electors were expected to.
That condition no longer exists. There is absolutely no reason that the man in the street cannot see and listen to a candidate, if only on TV. The Elite are no longer needed at all, except to maintain their own elite power status.
I first heard that reason for the creation of the EC from Charles Krauthammer. It is an interesting angle. He felt that the secondary reason was that vast, sparsely populated states would be left out of the process if the election were based on a national, popular vote. I'm not defending EC here, just explaining my thoughts on its creation. But that is beside the point really. Presently, we elect a president based on the popular votes of each state which then reward their electoral votes to the winner of that election. The electors are bound by tradition and original intent to cast their votes for the winner of their state's election. Their freedom to part from that tradition should be used only in extreme circumstances. The recent presidential election with its result is not an extreme circumstance.
It's sometimes hard to get into the minds of our founders, but I take the other view that the primary reason was protection of small states. This is in line (exactly in line for that matter) with the makeup of the House. Toss in the lack of communications and you have an obvious answer in the EC - that some of elite viewed it as a method of maintaining their "eliteness" is a side benefit, however important to those individuals.
But that "binding" is a little more than tradition as each elector pledges and promises to vote according to the wishes of the people of the state. About half the states make it illegal to violate that promise, and many declare the elector discharged with a replacement chosen. At least one state applies criminal penalties to an elector that violates their charge and agreement.
It is simply astounding to me that they can rationalize their way out of that promise, and doubly so that they do it by declaring that they are more suited to cast a vote than the people were. Elitism at its worst, and the biggest reason that Trump won the election - the people are sick and tired of such attitudes in our masters of the swamp.
Good thoughts here. Thanks. About the electors being legally bound to vote for the person whom their state elected. I believe the constitutionality of that has been challenged. But I personally believe the "eliteness" of the position should be eliminated by legally requiring them to vote according to the dictates of their states. That is if it can be proven to be constitutionally possible.
I could be mistaken, but I agree that the constitutionality was challenged. And cleared - there are, after all, 24 states where it is illegal to cast a vote other than the one promised.
And I do agree that it should be illegal, with both the elector replaced and facing charges.
cam: What would you describe as "an extreme circumstance"?
Yes, the people have spoken. And two and a half million more voted for Clinton than voted for Trump. How is that not "an extreme circumstance"?
Do you think, had it been the other way around, that you would feel the electors should vote for Trump; since he won the popular vote not the electoral college?
I don't think so. He won by the rules in place.
Yes, I would feel the same if Trump had won the popular vote but he didn't. (This is the second time in the recent past that the same party has won the election without the most votes.)
My problem is when every person's vote doesn't count. Candidates still spend a disproportionate amount of time in states with many electoral votes. How is that any different than bypassing small population states?
"Electors of conscience can still do the right thing for the good of the country. Presidential electors have the legal right and a constitutional duty to vote their conscience."
Yes, they spend more time in states with the most electoral votes, but if that is all they did, it wouldn't get them to the requisite 270 votes. Simple math forces them to also campaign in less populated states. Hillary basically spent her time in Large cities across the country. Trump went to the less populated states and garnered their electoral votes. The map of how the election turned out shows how his strategy was very much superior to Hillary's. It worked. He got 306 electoral votes by picking up the less populated states. Then he surprised everyone with wins in NC, OH, MI, WI, FL and PA.
Yes, candidates spend more time in big states, whipping up emotions to gain votes. Smaller states are limited to watching them debate, examining the issues and the records of the candidates. Don't know that that is a bad thing...
""Electors of conscience can still do the right thing for the good of the country. Presidential electors have the legal right and a constitutional duty to vote their conscience."
Where do you get this nonsense? From Democratic or Trump hating sites? Electors have a legal and ethical requirement to vote according their promise, and the constitution does not have anything to say about voting their "conscience" (meaning ignore the law and their promises to vote as they please whether it is the will of the people or not). Are you just making this up or gathering it from people that did just that?
First, it is some 2% of the votes cast. Second it is by both the letter and intent of the law. So no, it is not an "extreme circumstance" to anyone but the losers that demand the rules be changed because they did not get what they wanted.
Kathleen, it's a fair question. I'll try to explain how I see it. The fact that HRC won the popular vote is irrelevant. I don't mean that in an arrogant or divisive way. It is legally and constitutionally irrelevant. It cannot meet the qualifications as an extreme case which would then give electors (EC) the responsibility to vote for someone other than who their state voted for. America does not elect its president by the national popular vote. That is not how it is done. The law can be changed, and that will be considered I'm sure, but current law cannot be ignored. And electors (EC) cannot simply vote for the candidate of their choice because the don't like the outcome of a legal election. That would be a misuse of their position. The fact that HRC only won the popular vote in 14 states and the fact that Trump won the popular vote in 36 states means he won. The election could not have been won any other way than by winning the popular vote in the most states. That is how EC votes are gained and how the election is won. EC electors are bound to vote as their state voted unless some extreme circumstance gives them no choice but to vote their conscience. A legally won election is not an extreme circumstance. On the contrary, it is quite normal.
Hillary is done. She will not be back. Really you have to get over it.
And Hillary should be thankful that we did not give her the job of "The old lady who lived in a shoe …" with so many children she didn't know what to do.
Please Google The National Popular Vote Movement. It is going to impact 27 states that have signed the contract to vote for the candidate who won the popular vote. This movement may not change the outcome of this election, but for the first time the Electoral Vote is being challenged.
As I understand it, it would not be illegal for a state to cast their electoral votes based on what other states have done rather than the people of that state want. That it disenfranchises the people of smaller, rural, states is not illegal, just foolish. As long as it conforms to state law, anyway.
Kathleen, that is fine, and I will take a look at that website. People have the right to seek a change in the Constitution. What no one has the right to do is to expect the results of an election to be overturned that was carried out according to current election law and the Constitution. Also, it seems inappropriate to me for people to somehow think their candidate was treated unfairly when that candidate won the national popular vote but lost the election by losing the popular vote in more than two-thirds of the states. The States elect the president, not the national popular vote. Yes, by all means people can seek to change the Constitution, but let's all admit that HRC lost this election fair and square, according to the Constitution as it now reads.
According to Federalist Paper No. 68, written by Alexander Hamilton, the kind of collusion being carried out by the National Popular Vote was one thing they wanted to avoid. Electors from the individual states were to vote without consulting or building alliances with electors of other states. This isn't law, but it does go against the original intent of the EC.
I just read this email I got yesterday.
“Recently, we warned against ‘faithless electors’ who might try to disrupt the will of the states by casting their vote against the results of the election. Now this is actually happening! There are already seven faithless electors that I could find. They are part of a group being calling the ‘Hamilton Electors’. They call themselves such as they believe that they are doing what the founding father, Alexander Hamilton, meant in the design of the Electoral College. Colorado is leading the way in this.” (by Cindy Jacobs)
“Moreover, it is required of stewards that they be found trustworthy.”
2 Corinthians 4:2
I decree: Our Electoral College will remain secure and our Electors will be true stewards of the votes entrusted to them for their state.
Decree all you wish - with millions of people signing petitions asking electors to set aside their ethics and the law it is inevitable that some of them will be willing to do so. Particularly if a little folding green is quietly passed around - anyone asking another person to violate their sworn word because they have the political power to do so will not have any problem greasing a few palms. God knows we see enough of that in the swamp!
Electors are not asked to set aside "their ethics and the law". It is the law for them to vote based on their ethics. Even in states where they are legally bound to cast their vote for the candidate who carried their state, all they have to do is pay a fine if they choose to vote their conscience if it differs from their state's voters.
Sorry, Kathleen, but you need to read up on just electors are supposed to do. In 24 states it is against the law to vote any way except that proscribed by the state vote (one state assigns criminal penalties). In all states, electors sign a pledge, an affidavit, saying where they will cast their vote if their party wins the election. They have a contract with the voters that you are asking them to ignore in favor of your personal desires.
So yes, they are very definitely being asked to set aside their ethics, violate their word and/or the law and vote for whomever they please instead of the candidate they have pledged to vote for.
It is absolutely astounding that so many millions are asking electors to violate their conscience, their promise, their contract with voters and the law. That they ask electors to continue the soiled political practices that got Trump elected - to grossly abuse their political power for their own wants. I've even seen people saying it doesn't matter because it is a secret ballot vote - ignore your promise because you can't be found out. That's not true, but IS indicative of the thinking going on. It truly says a lot about the morals of many Americans that the dirt and unethical behavior of the swamp has spread to so many of the citizenry.
(It's interesting that you acknowledge this: "Even in states where they are legally bound to cast their vote for the candidate who carried their state, all they have to do is pay a fine if they choose to vote their conscience if it differs from their state's voters." while at the same time saying it is the law to vote their conscience. It's called rationalization, nothing more.)
I just finished reading Federalist Paper No. 68, thought to have been penned by Alexander Hamilton. It deals with the present situation, the election of Donald Trump as president, precisely.
The Electoral College was put in place primarily as a safeguard against the national popular vote producing a person unqualified by character and ability, to govern as president. The following quote sums up this reasoning, "A small number of persons, selected by their fellow-citizens from the general mass, will be most likely to possess the information and discernment requisite to such complicated investigations."
It was thought that since the electors would be chosen from such a broad, geographical area, corruption in the form of consulting with one another and forming an alliance would be impossible.
The goal of the Electoral College seems to be summed up in these words, "...the final object of the public wishes." This seems to be where the electors are bound to vote according to the will of the citizens of their state unless they felt the people had not had the information needed to make a wise decision. I'm doing a lot of interpreting here, but this is the meaning as I see it at this point.
This is a complicated subject. The purpose of the EC actually seems to be purposes, or more than one purpose. First is that the EC is to be men with the ability to discern the kind of person needed to be president. He must have the character and skills to govern. The EC also is to guard against foreign governments influencing public opinion regarding the election of the president.
As we anticipate the vote of the Electoral College on December 19, these individuals are first bound to the results of the vote in their particular state. Second, they have the freedom to vote differently than their state voted if they are convinced the people of their state did not have the information necessary to make a wise choice. They are to look at the character and abilities of the candidates and choose the most qualified person. In the present circumstance, we have two very imperfect people. One has lied to the FBI and the nation in general about her emails and possibly about the events at Benghazi. She has destroyed evidence after that evidence had been requested by the FBI. Trump is guilty of saying demeaning things about women. Some of his comments have been understood as being racist. He may or may not have sexually abused several women.
The character flaws of these two candidates might cancel each other out, I suppose. The EC might vote for the least corrupt person. If neither Trump nor Clinton got 270 votes in the EC, the House would then elect the president from among the top five vote getters in the general election, i.e. Clinton, Trump, Johnson, Stein and Castle(?)
I encourage anyone to read the Federalist Paper No. 68 to get a better grasp of what the intended purpose is of the Electoral College.
States have interpreted this material and made laws governing the voting of the electors. In some states it is a punishable offense to vote against the result of the popular vote in their particular state.
I have a small problem with the assumption that the opinions of 3 people, writing the Federalist Papers in an attempt to gain ratification of the Constitution actually give the viewpoints of all those that were involved. Certainly the most vocal and likely reaching a broader audience, but I have to question that they represented the entire document or it's proponents correctly.
Beyond that, the one you refer to expresses a large concern that the people, the man in the street, has neither the information nor the "discernment" to do the job. The first is no longer true (we all have access to all the information we could ever want) and the second is an anathema to the citizenry in general. Elitism (I'm smarter than you and have more "discernment" so will make the decisions for you whether you like them or not) is not a favored attribute in this century.
wilderness, I think I totally agree with your evaluation. My purpose really was to explain what was in FP#68, not defend it. I absolutely agree we are in a different place today. We don't need the college for the purpose of safeguarding against ignorant voters. The discussion should be around its value to keep all states involved in the process of electing a president.
LOL We keep saying the same things, keep agreeing with each other. Yes, I've come around to keeping the EC as giving that tiny advantage to states with low populations, just as we do in the Senate.
These electors are just trying to get a talk show appearance and a book deal.
Thank you, cam8510, for going back to the original source.
LOL It just gets better and better! A Colorado judge has issued a ruling that Colorado electors must cast their vote for Clinton (the winner in that state) - some electors are trying to join together in an effort to elect any Republican other than Trump but the judge vetoed that. Faithless Colorado electors that exercise their "free speech" (their terminology) by violating their pledge are subject to a $1,000 fine and a year in jail.
Somebody bring the popcorn: this is getting good!
http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/ … ar-AAlwh6a
Isn't it though? The liberal mind can be unfathomable; "What I want is all that matters" and "The (liberal) ends justify the means" are alive and well.
I read the article. I wasn't aware of the fact that there was a movement among the Republicans to put someone Republican, who wasn't Trump, into the oval office.
I'm telling you. If this thing goes south on the 19th I won't recognize the government as an authority. I would have loved to have had a viable alternative to Trump but he was the candidate I cast my vote for. If my vote can be cast aside with such little regard to the rule of law I don't see what reason I have to support those who did it.
I've seen where electors are being asked to vote R, but not Trump. More for Clinton, but some just for anybody but Trump. Seems the rationale is that "conscience" will allow violating one's word, but not voting for Trump.
I don't see it going south, but it could. And I'm with you - when such an obvious end run around the law is made it does not deserve any respect at all.
The swamp dwellers at scared, they know what's coming and its not going to be their special interests brand of business as usual.
I like that Trump is installing people in his cabinet who will hit the ground running.
You can't hit the ground running if they steal the landing pad
I'm not worrying about this. Not just because I am standing in faith, unwavering, but because there isn't anything I could otherwise do.
The CIA could give the Electors the names of Russian spies, and mow them down in a gun battle outside the White House. That might convince them all that they aren't just being lied to.
I would rather the Electors were being given substance and content of some of those damaging emails of Hillary's, the DNC's, Podesta's and Weiner's. Hopefully, they have been reading the emails on Wikileaks. The Electors should be asking how the email cover-up is going.
All 11 of Arizona’s presidential electors cast their ballots for Donald Trump for president.
Donald Trump officially crossed the line to 270 electoral votes with electors in Texas casting a ballot for the Republican shortly before 5:30 p.m. EST.
Only two ‘faithless’ Republican electors rejecting him and four deserting Democrat Hillary Clinton.
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