The recent post Presidential Election for the United States has been one of the most controversial in history. Final results: Donald Trump receives enough electoral “votes” to win. Hilary Clinton receives the most populous votes to win. Donald Trump has become President-elect, since the electoral “votes” are what decide the winner of the Presidential election. A little known fact, the electoral votes also decide the Vice-President. A little more about the VP further on.
However, the election is technically… NOT over.
What we saw on TV was the media tracking the populous vote as well as the electoral “vote”. But the media was NOT tracking the actual electoral vote; the media was tracking electoral pledges (the person electors are planning on voting for). With this in mind, you need to know the actual electoral college does not meet until December 19th at which time the electors actual submit their votes.
In most states, electors are required to vote according to the populous vote (winner takes all). Therefore, one can project if a state’s populous vote for a candidate, all electoral votes will be given to the populous candidate. In theory.
In some states, electors are not required to vote according to populous vote. Although in most cases the electors vote according to the majority of that state. Again, one can project a state’s populous vote for a candidate, all electoral votes will be given to that candidate. In theory.
There are a few states, electors vote according to the populous vote, but are not a “winner take all”. If 3/4 of the state votes one candidate, then said candidate gets 3/4 of the electoral votes and other would receive 1/4 of the votes (if there is a third party runner that person may get some of the electoral votes also). Congressional electors are normally Binding Electors.
At this time, all elector votes are not really votes. The “votes” are actually pledges. Although Donald Trump has been deemed the President-elect, it is possible he may not be President after the electoral college meets and electors place their actual vote.
But that won’t happen right? It is possible Hilary Clinton could be voted in as President of the United States on Jan. 6th when the results of the electoral college are made public.
What happens if electors don’t vote according to the public’s wishes, the electors could be fined $1,000. But that does not mean the electoral vote would not stand because it would still count as a vote, the would not be changed to match the populous vote or whatever vote it should have been accordingly.
If Trump wins Pence wins
Most people think if the elector votes for Trump then his vice presidential pick automatically wins if Trump does. This is incorrect. Electors are not voting just for the next president, but also for the next vice president. That’s right, they vote for president and vice president separately. In theory, electors could vote for Trump as President and…. lets see, Clinton for VP? Yes, that is actually a possibility.
It is legal, it is binding and it could happen during the conclusion of the 2016 election.
In 2004 one elector voted for Mr. Johnson (an independent on the ballot) for President and also voted for Mr. Johnson for VP.
Do I think the electors will become “faithless” and not vote according to their pledge? No, I think that is highly unlikely and would turn this country upside down at a time when there is so much turmoil already. As in years past, electors are claiming they are receiving emails, phone calls and media post telling them to change their pledge. Some have claimed threatening and harassing emails and phone calls.
Who would think they even have the right or that is morally and ethically appropriate for this to happen? It’s not! Electors should vote as outlined by their state guidelines and represent the people of their state.
Want to change the electoral vote system? If so, the only fair change would be for all states to become a congressional electoral vote splitting the votes according to the percentages of the populous vote. Changing the electoral college system will be saved for an up coming blog post.