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Electoral College Members in Colorado and Texas Seek to Reject Donald Trump

Posted on Dec 6, 2016

  Some Americans hope that “faithless electors” won’t cast their votes for Donald Trump. (Flickr / CC 2.0)

In the wake of news that Hillary Clinton beat Donald Trump in the popular vote, many Americans turned to the Electoral College in hopes that it would vote against Trump.

Now, it seems that several “faithless electors,” or members of the Electoral College who “do not vote for their party’s designated candidate,” are making their own anti-Trump sentiments known. Christopher Suprun, a Republican elector in the state of Texas, wrote an op-ed Monday explaining why he would not cast his vote for Trump:

I am a Republican presidential elector, one of the 538 people asked to choose officially the president of the United States. Since the election, people have asked me to change my vote based on policy disagreements with Donald J. Trump. In some cases, they cite the popular vote difference. I do not think presidents-elect should be disqualified for policy disagreements. I do not think they should be disqualified because they won the Electoral College instead of the popular vote. However, now I am asked to cast a vote on Dec. 19 for someone who shows daily he is not qualified for the office. …

I have poured countless hours into serving the party of Lincoln and electing its candidates. I will pour many more into being more faithful to my party than some in its leadership. But I owe no debt to a party. I owe a debt to my children to leave them a nation they can trust.

Suprun lists the reasons he believes Trump is unqualified for office, citing Trump’s “lack of foreign policy experience,” his unfit “demeanor,” past instances in which Trump “urged violence against protesters,” and his “dismissive responses to financial conflicts of interest.”

The New York Times adds that Suprun “said he was not resigning but also won’t be voting for Hillary Clinton.” This statement comes after another Texas elector, Art Sisneros, “resigned last week rather than vote for Trump.”

“I am here to elect a president, not a king,” Suprun told the Times.

Meanwhile, in Colorado, two Democratic electors are going to court Tuesday in an attempt to overturn a Colorado law regarding the Electoral College vote-casting process. Politico reports:

Democratic electors Polly Baca and Robert Nemanich are filing suit in federal court to overturn a state law that forces them to support the winner of Colorado’s presidential popular vote, in this case Hillary Clinton. But a successful bid, they say, would undermine similar laws in 28 other states, empowering Republican electors in those states to reject Trump.

In the legal filing, obtained by POLITICO, lawyers for Baca and Nemanich argue that Colorado’s statute is flatly unconstitutional because the Founding Fathers intended presidential electors to have free will when casting their votes — and to consider the popular vote as merely advisory.

In a separate story, Politico notes that Baca also organized the “Hamilton Electors,” a group “encouraging Republican defections from Trump.” It continues:

Backers of Hamilton Electors are also preparing a wave of lawsuits challenging 29 state laws that purport to bind electors to the results of the statewide popular vote. These laws have never been enforced or tested, and many constitutional scholars believe they conflict with the Founders’ vision of the Electoral College as a deliberative body. Courtroom victories, they hope, will embolden other electors to join their cause.

In the weeks since the general election, more than 1 million Americans have signed a petition urging the abolishment of the Electoral College.

“Faithless electors,” however, are unlikely to change the results of the presidential election. According to the National Archives and Records Administration, “more than 99% of electors have voted as pledged” throughout America’s history.

And, adds the website Mic, ”with both Clinton and President Barack Obama accepting Trump’s victory and vowing to work with the president-elect during the transition period between now and the Jan. 20 inauguration, it’s exceedingly unlikely the faithless elector effort will gain further traction.”

—Posted by Emma Niles

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