October 28, 2004

Challenge to Kerry Elector?

Electoral-Vote.com notes the following:

    Stupidity news: One of Kerry's electors in Ohio, Rep. Sherrod Brown, is a congressman. Unfortunately, the constitution forbids federal office holders from being electors. It is possible that if Kerry wins Ohio, Brown's right to cast an electoral vote will be challenged in court. Whoever picked a constitutionally ineligible elector needs to get his or her mental software ungraded to the latest release.

Brown is indeed listed as a presidential elector: see here on page 11.
I assume that this would be an issue to be taken up, if necessary, in Congress when it counts electoral votes. I'd like to hear about any theories that could land this in court. UPDATE: A reader writes: "My understanding (from Rep. Brown’s office) is that Rep. Brown has resigned and that the chairman of the Ohio Democratic Party will be able to appoint another elector." I'll let you know if I receive confirmation of this report.
CQ is now reporting:
    Rep. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, said today that he is giving up a job he
    shouldn't have accepted in the first place as one of the 20 presidential
    electors from Ohio if Democrat John Kerry carries that fiercely contested
    state. The U.S. Constitution specifies that states shall not appoint as
    electors any "senator or representative or person holding an office of
    trust or profit under the United States." That very clearly includes a
    sitting member of the House of Representatives. "We fixed it," Brown said.
    "We sent a letter to the state party and they're going to accept,
    obviously, the resignation and appoint someone else." He added, "I'd
    rather it hadn't happened." The Ohio Democratic Party did not immediately
    return messages seeking information about its Electoral College
    replacement for Brown, who once served as Ohio's top elections official.
    The six-term congressman is heavily favored to win re-election next week
    repr! esenting the 13th District, which encompasses Cleveland suburbs and
    parts of Akron.

Posted by Rick Hasen at October 28, 2004 09:34 AM