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Registered: 04/18/02
Posts: 3,040
Loc: there
Re: Why do we have presidential elections? [Re: Phred]
    #2333563 - 02/14/04 03:56 AM (20 years, 17 days ago)

My statement was that the electors are not allowed to "vote their conscience". They must vote as directed by the voters of the state they represent.


Must electors vote for the candidate who won their State's popular vote?

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.

Which States bind electors to popular vote results? Refer to Electors Bound by State Law and Pledges to find out.

The Supreme Court has held that the Constitution does not require that electors be completely free to act as they choose and therefore, political parties may extract pledges from electors to vote for the parties' nominees. Some State laws provide that so-called "faithless electors" may be subject to fines or may be disqualified for casting an invalid vote and be replaced by a substitute elector. The Supreme Court has not specifically ruled on the question of whether pledges and penalties for failure to vote as pledged may be enforced under the Constitution. No elector has ever been prosecuted for failing to vote as pledged.

Today, it is rare for electors to disregard the popular vote by casting their electoral vote for someone other than their party's candidate. Electors generally hold a leadership position in their party or were chosen to recognize years of loyal service to the party. Throughout our history as a nation, more than 99 percent of electors have voted as pledged.


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Fred's son

Registered: 10/18/00
Posts: 12,949
Loc: Dominican Republic
Last seen: 9 years, 1 month
Re: Why do we have presidential elections? [Re: infidelGOD]
    #2333588 - 02/14/04 04:21 AM (20 years, 17 days ago)

Very interesting! Learn something new every day.

So even though it is not something that has happened recently, nonetheless it is in some states possible for an elector to "vote his conscience" rather than as directed (pledged) by the electorate.

In that case my original assertion was wrong. To be accurate, it should be altered to read

"... electors are not supposed to "vote their conscience". They are charged with voting as directed by the voters of the state they represent."

But that isn't good enough for me. If they go against the wishes of those they represent, their vote must be considered bogus. Apparently in some cases they do correct such a vote, but not in all cases. I wonder what the penalty is for the guys who "break ranks" whose vote is left uncorrected? They strip him of his position? But that doesn't undo the damage he did -- it's too late.

In that case, the electoral college is definitely flawed. Even though the instances of a "rogue elector" have historically been rare, there should be no possibility of a rogue vote occurring at all -- or at least if it occurs there must be the opportunity to correct it before the decision of who won is made. If not, the process has no validity.

In my opinion, to avoid that possibility, there should not even be flesh and blood "electors" at all. It should be done by formula.

Looks like it's time for someone to propose a constitutional amendment.



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Registered: 09/23/21
Posts: 10
Last seen: 2 years, 2 months
Re: Why do we have presidential elections? [Re: Strumpling]
    #27534696 - 11/08/21 09:30 AM (2 years, 3 months ago)

You spoke to the heart of the problem...the electoral college. You see in part why we are as a result.

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