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1836 Presidential Election: Faithless Electors Altered the Outcome of the Electoral College Vote

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posted on Nov, 23 2016 @ 09:03 PM
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The 1836 election was the only occasion when faithless electors altered the outcome of the electoral college vote. The Democratic ticket won states with 170 of the 294 electoral votes, but the 23 Virginia electors abstained in the vote for Vice President, so the Democratic nominee, Richard M. Johnson, got only 147 (exactly half), and was not elected. However, Johnson was elected Vice President by the U.S. Senate.

SOURCE


I'm posting this as a reminder that faithless electors can alter the outcome of the Electoral College vote. I can already hear the claims that "it's illegal", and I have an answer for that:

The votes are made anonymously. How can anyone enforce a fine without being able to show any evidence that a law was broken? Now that we have several people who will supposedly be faithless electors in the current election, the cat is out of the bag. There will be no way whatsoever to know who the faithless electors were anymore (with the exception of all the electors from a certain state being faithless electors).

I'm not making judgments about whether any of this is good or bad. I'm just trying to help people to realize the truth concerning the situation we're in.

I don't think there is a realistic chance that it could happen in 2016, and I don't want it to happen. Let's just not fool ourselves about the existence of the possibility.
edit on 23-11-2016 by Profusion because: (no reason given)




posted on Nov, 23 2016 @ 09:12 PM
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Twenty-nine states plus the District of Columbia have laws to penalize faithless electors




In lieu of penalizing a faithless elector, some states, like Michigan and Minnesota, specify the faithless elector's vote is void


Faithless Electors

Kind of denies your entire post , huh ?
Keep on "wishing upon a star"
edit on 11/23/16 by Gothmog because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 23 2016 @ 09:23 PM
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originally posted by: Gothmog



Twenty-nine states plus the District of Columbia have laws to penalize faithless electors




In lieu of penalizing a faithless elector, some states, like Michigan and Minnesota, specify the faithless elector's vote is void


Faithless Electors

Kind of denies your entire post , huh ?
Keep on "wishing upon a star"


I already gave a counterargument to your first point, "Twenty-nine states plus the District of Columbia have laws to penalize faithless electors":

The votes are made anonymously. How can anyone enforce a fine without being able to show any evidence that a law was broken? Now that we have several people who will supposedly be faithless electors in the current election, the cat is out of the bag. There will be no way whatsoever to know who the faithless electors were anymore (with the exception of all the electors from a certain state being faithless electors).

As to the second point, "some states, like Michigan and Minnesota, specify the faithless elector's vote is void", the Constitution makes state laws moot. The Supreme Court determined that electors in the Electoral College have the right to be faithless electors.


The constitutionality of state pledge laws was confirmed by the Supreme Court in 1952 in Ray v. Blair[8] in a 5–2 vote. The court ruled states have the right to require electors to pledge to vote for the candidate whom their party supports, and the right to remove potential electors who refuse to pledge prior to the election. The court also wrote:

However, even if such promises of candidates for the electoral college are legally unenforceable because violative of an assumed constitutional freedom of the elector under the Constitution, Art. II, § 1, to vote as he may choose in the electoral college, it would not follow that the requirement of a pledge in the primary is unconstitutional (emphasis added).[8]

The ruling only held that requiring a pledge, not a vote, was constitutional and Justice Jackson wrote in his dissent, "no one faithful to our history can deny that the plan originally contemplated what is implicit in its text – that electors would be free agents, to exercise an independent and nonpartisan judgment as to the men best qualified for the Nation's highest offices." More recent legal scholars believe "a state law that would thwart a federal elector’s discretion at an extraordinary time when it reasonably must be exercised would clearly violate Article II and the Twelfth Amendment."[9]

The Supreme Court has never ruled on the constitutionality of state laws punishing electors for actually casting a faithless vote.

SOURCE

edit on 23-11-2016 by Profusion because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 23 2016 @ 10:27 PM
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a reply to: Profusion

Please define "faithless elector"?



posted on Nov, 23 2016 @ 10:43 PM
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originally posted by: Woodcarver
a reply to: Profusion

Please define "faithless elector"?



In United States presidential elections, a faithless elector is a member of the United States Electoral College who does not vote for the presidential or vice-presidential candidate for whom they had pledged to vote. That is, they lack faith in the pledge and vote for another candidate, or fail to vote, or choose not to vote. A pledged elector can become a faithless elector only by breaking their pledge; unpledged electors have no pledge to break.

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posted on Nov, 30 2016 @ 08:08 PM
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I listened today to a cable news reporter, questioning an election official. That lady hemmed and hawed around, but she couldn't or wouldn't answer what happens if some judge sets aside the deadlines to let Stein proceed with a slower hand count of that State's ballots. If a few States' electors are frozen out of the electoral college election, by hand counts of contested ballots, then it will discourage voters the next time around, IMHO.




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