“Faithless Electors: What Happens If They Matter?”

Must-read Ned Foley:


A new report says that a second Democratic presidential elector in Washington State, which the Democrats are predicted to win, may refuse to cast his official Electoral College vote on December 19 for Hillary Clinton—despite his pledge to do so, pursuant to Washington State law, RCWA § 29A.56.340.


The state statute imposes a civil fine of $1000 on any such faithless elector: “Any elector who votes for a person or persons not nominated by the party of which he or she is an elector is subject to a civil penalty of up to one thousand dollars.” But apparently two of Washington’s twelve are willing to pay that fine in order to be what one of them calls a “conscientious elector”.


One or two faithless electors conceivably could make a difference this year. Here are a couple of maps that would give Clinton exactly the 270 Electoral College votes she needs, with not an extra elector to spare:






Given the historically unprecedented unpopularity of both presidential candidates this year, I’ve been wondering whether America might actually confront the possibility of multiple faithless electors on both sides. Without trying to anticipate all the potential permutations, let’s just stick for moment with the current situation in Washington State.

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