2016 U.S. elections

 

Electoral College voter won’t back Clinton even if she wins


PUBLISHED Fri, November 04, 2016 - 7:53pm EDT


A Democratic elector in Washington state says he will not vote for Hillary Clinton if she wins the state's popular vote, which would mean the former secretary of state needs more electoral votes than Donald Trump to win the election.

Robert Satiacum, who supported U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders during the Democratic primaries and is a member of Washington's Puyallup Tribe, told the Associated Press on Friday that he would rather pay a fine than vote for Clinton.

Satiacum called Clinton a "criminal" who doesn't care enough about American Indians and added that "she's done nothing but flip back and forth." He told AP that he has wrestled with what to do but feels that neither Clinton nor Donald Trump can lead the country.

"She will not get my vote, period ... This is a time we all need to stand up and speak out," Satiacum said in the interview. He said he had received support from electors in other states and expressed hope that some of them would follow his lead.

Americans will vote on Tuesday to pick their next president, but in reality they will choose electors who have pledged to vote for their party's nominee. If Clinton wins the popular vote in Washington state as is expected, Satiacum would be one of the state's 12 electors.

Satiacum will then be one of 538 electors to formally choose the next president on December 19. A presidential candidate needs 270 electoral votes to win, but if Satiacum goes through with his plan it would mean Clinton needs at least 271 votes to secure the presidency. Trump, however, would not be affected.

There is no Constitutional provision or federal law that requires electors to vote according to their state's election results, though some states have local laws against so-called faithless electors. Washington state has a law that imposes a $1,000 fine on electors who break their pledge, but Satiacum says he doesn't care.

Throughout the history of the United States, less than 1 percent of electors have broken their pledge, though it never changed the outcome of an election. The last time it happened was in 2000 when Barbara Lett-Simmons from Washington, D.C. refused to cast her vote for Al Gore to protest the District's lack of congressional representation.





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