Lessig Urges Faithless Electors Vote for Clinton, Pointing to Popular Vote in a Contest Not Based on Popular Vote

WaPo oped.

I find the argument troubling on two levels. First, the electors in the electoral college are not chosen to exercise judgment but to translate the will of the people in each state. If we had a system where we expected them to exercise independent judgment we would spend time vetting them.  Instead, they are generally loyal party members.

Second, relying on the national popular vote to overturn the results of the electoral college seems unfair even if, like me, you believe the electoral college is unfair. The election was run under the electoral college system. Would Clinton have won if both sides were going to run up the popular vote? Perhaps, but it is not a given.

This seems to go against rule of law ideas that we all abide by the rules for an election set in advance. Turning the electors into mighty platonic guardians doesn’t seem to be the right way to go.

So yes, I’d love to get rid of the Electoral College. But not ignore it in an election where everyone agreed it was the set of rules to use.


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