Faithless: Texas GOP Elector May Not Cast Vote for Trump

August 26, 2016

Politico reports that Chris Suprun, one of Texas' 38 Republican electors, has indicated that if Donald Trump wins his state, as seems likely, he may cast his electoral college vote elsewhere. Earlier in August, Baoky Vu, then a Georgia elector, indicated the same, while going even further by saying he wouldn't vote for Trump in November. Shortly after those comments, Vu resigned.

About half the states bind electors legally, the remainder do not. Texas and Georgia are two of the states that do not require electors to vote in line with the popular vote results. Electors not voting as pledged are known as 'faithless electors'. These are rare, particularly in modern times, as the electoral slates are usually comprised of those very loyal to the party they represent. Wikipedia has a list of faithless electors

Background

When a voter goes to the polls on November 8th, his or her vote for a presidential candidate is actually a vote cast for a slate of electors selected to represent that candidate/party in the electoral college. There is a separate set of electors for each party on the ballot. Independent and write-in candidates may or may not have a slate, it seems to vary by state. The number of electors in each slate are equal to the state's electoral votes. 

Electors are listed on a on a Certificate of Ascertainment, which each state is required to file after the election. Here's the Texas one from 2012.

The electors associated with the winning candidate in each state will meet to vote on December 19th, where each will individually cast his or her electoral college vote. The votes are recorded on a Certificate of Vote, a copy of which is sent to the President of the Senate (VP Joe Biden) for the official count on January 6, 2017. Here's Texas' Certificate of Vote from 2012.

If Mr. Suprun, or another elector, were to cast their vote differently than as pledged, it would occur at this December 19th meeting. 

comments powered by Disqus

Headlines

Tuesday Primaries in Connecticut, Minnesota, Vermont and Wisconsin; Georgia Runoffs

Connecticut holds the final presidential primary of 2020 while a member of 'The Squad' faces a primary challenge in Minnesota.

The Road to 270: Minnesota

No state has had a longer period of voting Democratic in presidential elections. Donald Trump made it close in 2016, but the streak is likely to continue in 2020

Hawaii Primary: Overview and Live Results

Four Democrats are competing to replace the retiring Tulsi Gabbard. Both districts are safely Democratic in November.

Updated Inside Elections House Ratings

The forecaster made 29 changes Friday, moving 27 of them in the direction of Democrats

Who Will Succeed Lamar Alexander? Tennessee Primary Overview and Live Results

The only state in the nation with a Thursday downballot primary. The main contest of interest is the GOP nomination for U.S. Senate