What many people still may not know is - not one single person in the United States has yet voted for any president this term
(I am still sort of new to this in my research so feel free to correct me or to add to this article/thread)
Let me explain (for those who don't know)..
The framers of the Constitution embraced federalism — meaning while they wanted a functional federal government, they sought to balance that by
preserving the powers of the states. One way they sought to ensure that was by putting elections in the hands of the states.
According to this article:
Neither the Constitution nor Federal law prescribe the manner in which each State appoints its electors other than directing that they be
appointed on the Tuesday after the first Monday in November (November 7, 2000).
A Procedural Guide to the Electoral College
So it is up to the government of each state to decide how its electors are chosen.. and there are variations among the different states.
In general - On election day, when you go to vote for the president, you are not actually putting in a vote for the president. You are voting for a
group of Electors.
Sometimes they write the names of the group of Electors you are recommending next to the President/Vice President's names and often they do not.
I can vouch for NY State that - they did not
put the names of the electors next to either of the people running for President/VicePresident.
Also I don't even think all electors are voted for by popular vote by the public, details on how they are selected varies by State. (For example - in
Maine and Nebraska - two electors are chosen by statewide vote, and one is chosen from each congressional district.)
Another thing I didn't have much time to investigate is - how are these Electors selected in then first place? From one article:
Who selects the electors? Choosing each State's electors is a two-part process. First, the political parties in each State choose slates of
potential electors sometime before the general election. The first part of the process is controlled by the political parties in each State and varies
from State to State. Generally, the parties either nominate slates of potential electors at their State party conventions or they chose them by a vote
of the party's central committee.
- National Archives - About the Elector
So basically the general public has no say in who becomes an elector..
Here is an example of Electors chosen in 2016 for the state of California:
"Electors: 55, voted for Hillary Clinton for President and Tim Kaine for Vice President
Dustin R. Reed, Concord
Javier Gonzalez, San Jose
Shawn E. Terris, Ventura
John M. Ryan, San Rafael
Mark W. Headley, Berkeley
Gail R. Teton-Landis, Santa Barbara
Faith A. Garamendi, Davis
Ana A. Huerta, Bakersfield
Marie S. Torres, Hacienda Heights
Kathleen R. Scott, Lincoln
Donna M. Ireland, Pleasanton
Robert S. Torres, Pomona
Timothy J. Farley, Martinez
Christine T. Kehoe, San Diego
Dorothy N. Vann, Long Beach
Analea J. Patterson, Sacramento
Vinzenz J. Koller, Carmel – had indicated that he was undecided, currently suing California over law forcing electors to vote along party
David S. Warmuth, Pasadena...
Christine Pelosi, San Francisco – signed a letter demanding an intelligence briefing on the alleged Russian hacking
It is interesting to note that two Electors in the list did not vote (or I am not sure if they voted for the other party.)
Anyways, it is apparent, that while most people vote for the candidates they 'pledge' for, they do not always and have the liberty to vote for whoever
According to this article an Elector who votes for the president of the opposite party or somebody they did not pledge for is considered a "Faithless
Elector". I guess this proves Electors can really vote for anyone. There are also Electors who have not pledged according to this article:
There have been a total of 165 instances of faithlessness as of 2016, 63 of which occurred in 1872 when Horace Greeley died after Election Day but
before the Electoral College convened.
- Faithless Elector
Day of the 2020 Election
December 14, 2020: Electors Vote in Their States Monday after the second Wednesday in December of presidential election years is set (3 U.S.C.
§7) as the date on which the electors meet and vote. In 2020, the meeting is on December 14.
2020 Presidential Election
..the first Monday after the second Wednesday in December.
So anyway nobody has voted for any president yet.
The Certificate Of Ascertainment Records Each Vote
Sometimes, just the presidential and vice presidential candidates are listed on the election ballot, so it is easy to forget that your vote is
actually determining the election of electors, not directly of the candidates themselves..
Following the election on Nov. 8, the Governors of each state will produce seven copies of the Certificate of Ascertainment which confirms the
winning candidate and their electors as well as how many votes each elector received in the state. Each Governor is required to sign and affix the
state seal to each certificate and send an original certificate along with two copies to the United States Office of the Federal Register.
..electors do not actually cast their vote for President until (Dec 14 for 2020). They do so at a meeting of electors in their designated state,
during which they cast their votes for President and Vice President; these votes are recorded on a Certificate of Vote. Following the vote, the
original Certificates of Ascertainment are attached to the Certificates of Vote in each state, and are sealed and sent to the President of the U.S.
Senate (a.k.a. the Vice President), the Archivist of the United States, the Secretary of State of each state, and the Chief Judge of the Federal
District Court of the district in which the electors met in each state. These pairs of certificates must be received by the appropriate offices by
Dec. 28, 2016, and the votes are then counted by Congress on Jan. 6, 2017, ahead of the Presidential Inauguration.
BTW - According to the first article, by Federal law, Electors must be appointed by Nov 7 which they have not.
edit on 11-11-2020 by nOraKat because: (no reason given)