“The people are uninformed, and would be misled by a few designing men.” — Delegate Gerry, July 19, 1787.
1860 election: 4 electors in New Jersey, pledged for Stephen Douglas, voted for Republican candidate Abraham Lincoln.
Electoral College must be maintained
We must adhere to spirit and intent of law
The Electoral College was set up by the founding fathers to achieve two primary goals.
- To prevent smaller states and lower population areas from being dominated by a few larger states with
higher population densities.
- To prevent a tyrant or usurper of power from deceiving an uninformed populace.
I have been wading through the quagmire of the election process and in particular, the Electoral College
vote and state laws that control the election process through the Electors voting. Some aspects are
crystal clear. The US Constitution reveals the eligibility requirements for president, the responsibility
of the federal and state governments and how the electors must vote. The individual states have the
power of controlling general election ballots and orchestrating the selection, meeting and votes of the
Electoral College Electors. There is much confusion however, regarding the duties and powers of state
election officials to ensure the qualifications of candidates and in states’ power to control the way
Here are the laws and facts regarding the pivotal point in the election process, the Vote by the Electoral College Electors:
“No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any Person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States.”
The US Constitution gives powers to the states for the general election.
“The executive Power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America. He shall hold his Office during the Term of four Years, and, together with the Vice President, chosen for the same Term, be elected, as follows:
Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors, equal to the whole Number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress: but no Senator or Representative, or Person holding an Office of Trust or Profit under the United States, shall be appointed an Elector.”
Federal Election Law:
“The following provisions of law governing Presidential Elections are contained in Chapter 1 of Title 3, United States Code (62 Stat. 672, as amended):
§ 8. The electors shall vote for President and Vice President, respectively, in the manner directed by the Constitution.”
From US National Archives
“There is no Constitutional provision or Federal law that requires electors to vote according to the results of the popular vote in their States. Some States, however, require electors to cast their votes according to the popular vote. These pledges fall into two categories—electors bound by State law and those bound by pledges to political parties.”
List of Electors Bound by State Law and Pledges, as of November 2000
Source: Congressional Research Service
No Legal Requirement
Electors in these States are not bound by State Law to cast their vote for a specific candidate:
ARIZONA – 10 Electoral Votes
ARKANSAS – 6 Electoral Votes
DELAWARE – 3 Electoral Votes
GEORGIA – 15 Electoral Votes
IDAHO – 4 Electoral Votes
ILLINOIS – 21 Electoral Votes
INDIANA – 11 Electoral Votes
IOWA – 7 Electoral Votes
KANSAS – 6 Electoral Votes
KENTUCKY – 8 Electoral Votes
LOUISIANA – 9 Electoral Votes
MINNESOTA – 10 Electoral Votes
MISSOURI – 11 Electoral Votes
NEW HAMPSHIRE – 4 Electoral Votes
NEW JERSEY – 15 Electoral Votes
NEW YORK – 31 Electoral Votes
NORTH DAKOTA – 3 Electoral Votes
PENNSYLVANIA – 21 Electoral Votes
RHODE ISLAND – 4 Electoral Votes
SOUTH DAKOTA – 3 Electoral Votes
TENNESSEE – 11 Electoral Votes
TEXAS – 34 Electoral Votes
UTAH – 5 Electoral Votes
WEST VIRGINIA – 5 Electoral Votes
Legal Requirements or Pledges
Electors in these States are bound by State Law or by pledges to cast their vote for a specific candidate:
ALABAMA – 9 Electoral Votes
Party Pledge / State Law – § 17-19-2
ALASKA – 3 Electoral Votes
Party Pledge / State Law – § 15.30.040; 15.30.070
CALIFORNIA – 55 Electoral Votes
State Law – § 6906
COLORADO – 9 Electoral Votes
State Law – § 1-4-304
CONNECTICUT – 7 Electoral Votes
State Law § 9-175
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA – 3 Electoral Votes
DC Pledge / DC Law – § 1-1312(g)
FLORIDA – 27 Electoral Votes
Party Pledge / State Law – § 103.021(1)
HAWAII – 4 Electoral Votes
State Law – §§ 14-26 to 14-28
MAINE – 4 Electoral Votes
State Law – § 805
MARYLAND – 10 Electoral Votes
State Law – § 20-4
MASSACHUSETTS – 12 Electoral Votes
Party Pledge / State Law – Ch. 53, § 8, Supp.
MICHIGAN – 17 Electoral Votes
State Law – §168.47 (Violation cancels vote and elector is replaced).
MISSISSIPPI – 6 Electoral Votes
Party Pledge / State Law – §23-15-785(3)
MONTANA – 3 Electoral Votes
State Law – §13-25-104
NEBRASKA – 5 Electoral Votes
State Law – § 32-714
NEVADA – 5 Electoral Votes
State Law – § 298.050
NEW MEXICO – 5 Electoral Votes
State Law – § 1-15-5 to 1-15-9 (Violation is a fourth degree felony.)
NORTH CAROLINA – 15 Electoral Votes
State Law – § 163-212 (Violation cancels vote; elector is replaced and is subject to $500 fine.)
OHIO – 20 Electoral Votes
State Law – § 3505.40
OKLAHOMA – 7 Electoral Votes
State Pledge / State Law – 26, §§ 10-102; 10-109 (Violation of oath is a misdemeanor, carrying a fine of up to $1000.)
OREGON – 7 Electoral Votes
State Pledge / State Law – § 248.355
SOUTH CAROLINA – 8 Electoral Votes
State Pledge / State Law – § 7-19-80 (Replacement and criminal sanctions for violation.)
VERMONT – 3 Electoral Votes
State Law – title 17, § 2732
* VIRGINIA – 13 Electoral Votes
State Law – § 24.1-162 (Virginia statute may be advisory – “Shall be expected” to vote for nominees.)
WASHINGTON – 11 Electoral Votes
Party Pledge / State Law – §§ 29.71.020, 29.71.040, Supp. ($1000 fine.)
WISCONSIN – 10 Electoral Votes
State Law – § 7.75
WYOMING – 3 Electoral Votes
State Law – §§ 22-19-106; 22-19-108
So called “Faithless Electors”
“It turns out there is no federal law that requires an elector to vote according to their pledge (to their respective party). And so, more than a few electors have cast their votes without following the popular vote or their party. These electors are called “faithless electors.”
In response to these faithless electors’ actions, several states have created laws to enforce an elector’s pledge to his or her party vote or the popular vote. Some states even go the extra step to assess a misdemeanor charge and a fine to such actions. For example, the state of North Carolina charges a fine of $10,000 to faithless electors.
It’s important to note, that although these states have created these laws, a large number of scholars believe that such state-level laws hold no true bearing and would not survive constitutional challenge.”
So, we have a situation where electors are referred to as “faithless” for not following the party line
or state mandate. However, the state mandates are unconstitutional. There is no such mandate from the
US Constitution or Federal Election Law. On the contrary, Electors are bound to vote in the manner defined
in the US Constitution. Following a political party or state mandate when confronted by serious concerns
regarding a presidential candidate’s eligibility, clearly violates the spirit of the law. The individual
states have the power over candidates being placed on and remaining on ballots. If they are to dictate
the manner in which Electors vote, they must exercise their powers and demand proof of eligibility
to prevent violations of constitutional law and potential voter disenfranchisement.
Let’s consider a comment from an Indiana Elector and Indiana law.
“Good Morning CW, I sent an email to all of the Electorals in Indiana asking them to support the Constitution requirements for President. This is what I received back, “Brenda I don’t represent you. I do however represent the people who voted for President Elect Barack Obama in the state of Indiana. Anthe the State did go from Red to Blue, did it not? Any think you have to further communicate with me is of no interest. Please refrain.” Cordelia Lewis-Burks. Then the next e-mail sent a picture of all the Presidents of the United States with the caption, One thing has changed” because it had Obama’s picture added. How do you get people like this to even question his qualifications? They do not care. All they care about is the fact that he is part black. By the way, this lady is black. I also have a question–why doesn’t she represent me? She is just an electoral, and I am a citizen of Indiana and the United States. Any suggestions ? Thanks. Brenda”
Electors pledge to a political party to vote for parties candidate. This is another example of party over country. The DNC did not vet Obama and now expect Electors to blindly follow.
The Indiana Elector in the above comment has pledged to the Democrat Party to vote for their candidate. I wonder if the Elector is aware of their duty to vote in the manner directed by the US Constitution. The Elector has been made aware of the eligibility issue with Barack Obama. Ignorance is not bliss. If the electors in Indiana are not made aware of their responsibilities and Obama being ineligible, then their Electoral votes must be challenged in Congress.
Indiana Law from the Secretary of State
“After election day, each county sends its presidential vote totals to the Secretary of State in Indianapolis. It can take several weeks after the election for the final version of all these county returns to arrive. When all the county votes have been received (and any errors or omissions corrected), the Secretary of State certifies to the Governor the final, official returns for the presidential elector candidates.
The Governor then signs a “Certificate of Ascertainment.” This document officially appoints the winning presidential electors to serve as Indiana’s members of the Electoral College. Three copies of this document are immediately sent to the National Archives in Washington.”
“After an invocation and any welcoming remarks by state officials, the Certificate of Ascertainment and the roll call of the electors are read. The electors who are present then take their oath of office.”
“The presidential electors then vote for President on a paper ballot. The ballots are tabulated and the results announced. The electors then cast a separate paper ballot for Vice-President, and the result of this voting is announced. The electors then sign a Certificate that sets forth the votes each Presidential candidate and Vice-Presidential candidate received, and a transmittal cover sheet.”
INDIANA ELECTORAL COLLEGE FACTS
“Indiana has never had a “faithless” elector. Each individual has voted for the presidential and vice-presidential candidates to whom they were pledged.”
It is obvious that we must do the following:
- Inform Electoral College Electors, State Election Officials and congressmen of the Obama ineligibility
issues and their duty to uphold the law and serve the citizens.
- Educate Electors on their constitutional duty and priorities.
- Demand that State election officials require proof of eligibility of Barack Obama and any other presidential candidates.
- Hold all accountable.
- However, even though some Electors have been complicit with the DNC in not vetting Obama, not all are guilty of dubious actions and all should be addressed with the proper respect.