Federal judge denies electors’ demand to unbind vote; they’re willing to face charges and jail

Electors who are seeking to avoid casting their votes as promised may be facing legal hurdles as they attempt to keep President-elect Donald Trump out of the White House.

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Colorado electors failed at their attempt to have their votes unbound when a federal judge on Monday denied their motion to suspend the state’s law.

Granting the motion to allow electors to vote against the popular vote would “undermine” the electoral process, according to Judge Wiley Daniel, KMGH TV reported. Wiley advised Robert Nemanich, of Colorado Springs, and Polly Baca, a former state senator from Denver, that if they were unhappy with the election, they should try to change the state law. He also called the lawsuit a “political stunt.”

The plaintiffs, part of a total of nine Democratic electors from Colorado, argued that the state law requiring them to vote for the winner of Colorado’s popular vote violates the U.S. Constitution, as well as the First, Twelfth and Fourteenth amendments. In a last-ditch effort to keep Trump out of the White House, the electors do not want to cast their vote for Hillary Clinton who won Colorado’s Electoral College votes.

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“Unfortunately two faithless electors – prior to even taking office – have arrogantly thumbed their noses at Colorado’s voters and have announced their intent to violate Colorado law,” Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams said in a statement, according to KMGH.

The Colorado plaintiffs could face misdemeanor charges resulting in a fine or jail time but, according to their attorneys, they are willing to face the consequences.

A Texas elector who announced that he would be voting against the nominee of the party that elected him to the electoral college could also face legal consequences.

The “faithless elector,” Christoper Suprun, could face criminal prosecution unless, according to Texas statutes, the state decides to declare him ineligible and replaces him.

In an op-ed piece in The New York Times, the Republican elector spelled out why he would not be voting for Trump and appeared to invite others to follow his lead.

The same strategy seemed to be behind electors in Washington State who wished to disregard the popular vote, risking fines up to $1,000 each. A hearing is set for Wednesday in a suit by two electors challenging the state law.

“I feel that it is my duty to cast my vote against Trump,” elector Levi Guerra told the Seattle Times.  “Instead, I must vote for the person who I believe will be best for my constituents and who has the greatest chance for unifying our country.”

The electors are hoping to cast their votes for a Republican “compromise candidate,” the Times reported.

State Attorney General Bob Ferguson responded to the suit by the “faithless electors,” arguing that the case lacked legal merit and “no court, anywhere, has adopted Plaintiffs’ argument that the Constitution requires allowing electors to ignore the will of their state’s voters.”

It seems, even though some die-hard electors are trying to challenge the system, laws continue to be on the side of respecting the electoral process.

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Frieda Powers

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