N.Y. Times deep dive into the Georgia criminal investigation includes this on the alternate electors dimension of the probe:
‘In a legal filing, the electors’ lawyers likened their clients’ actions to those of electors in Hawaii during the 1960 presidential election, when Richard M. Nixon beat John F. Kennedy in the initial voting by a mere 141 votes, but Kennedy prevailed after a court-ordered recount. As this unfolded, Kennedy electors submitted their votes (as did Nixon electors) before the recount was finished. “Appropriately, no one suggested that they were criminals,” Ms. Debrow and Ms. Pierson wrote.
But when Kennedy and Nixon electors cast their votes on Dec. 19, 1960, there was a court-ordered recount still underway, and the Hawaiian governor later directed the winning Kennedy slate to be recognized. By contrast, 60 years later in Georgia, the Trump electors signed their certificate on Dec. 14, a week after the results were recertified. By then, four of the original Georgia Republican electors had bowed out and had to be replaced, with one expressing reservations about “political gamesmanship.”
“In the Hawaiian case, it was the appropriate certifying authority, the governor of the State of Hawaii, who certified the Kennedy electors,” said James A. Gardner, a professor at the University at Buffalo School of Law. “These people we’re talking about in Georgia were not certified by any executive authority,” he said, adding that “in 1960, none of this occurred in the context of a fairly widespread attempt by a sitting president to conduct a self-coup.”‘