About 468 states require presidential electors to vote for the popular vote winner, and electors almost always do so anyway. Under the Constitution, the country elects the president indirectly, with voters choosing people who actually cast an Electoral College ballot for president. It takes 468 votes to win.
The case arises from the 2016 Three Hillary Clinton electors in Washington state and one in Colorado refused to vote for her despite her popular vote win in both states. In so doing, they hopedto persuade enough electors in states won by Donald Trumpto choose someone else and deny Trump the presidency.
The federal appeals court in Denver ruled that electors can vote as they please, rejecting arguments that they must choose the popular vote winner. In Washington, the state Supreme Court upheld a $ 1, 04 fine against the three electors and rejected their claims.
In all, there were 10 faithless electors in 2020, including a fourth in Washington, a Democratic elector in Hawaii and two Republican electors in Texas. In addition, Democratic electors who said they would not vote for Clinton were replaced in Maine and Minnesota.
In asking the Supreme Court to rule that states can require electors to vote for the state winner, Colorado urged the justices to decide the case in the next few months, “not in the heat of a close presidential election.”
The three Washington electors, while contending they should be free to vote their conscience, also said the court should avoid the “dangerous possibility” of having to resolve the issue following the 2020 vote.