‘Faith­less elec­tors’ can be re­placed, judge rules in blow to move­ment

The Washington Times Daily - - POLITICS - BY VA­LERIE RICHARD­SON

If Demo­cratic elec­tors in Colorado refuse to vote for Hil­lary Clin­ton, then they can be re­placed by others who will fol­low the law, a judge ruled Tues­day.

Den­ver Dis­trict Court Judge El­iz­a­beth Starrs gave Sec­re­tary of State Wayne Wil­liams the op­tion of re­mov­ing the elec­tors af­ter he sought the court’s ad­vice af­ter a well-pub­li­cized re­volt by three Colorado elec­tors.

The judge also said she would make her­self avail­able at noon Mon­day, when the Elec­toral Col­lege meets in Colorado, 9News in Den­ver re­ported.

Her de­ci­sion came as the sec­ond blow in as many days to the “faith­less elec­tors,” who lost a mo­tion Mon­day that would have al­lowed them to vote for a can­di­date other than Mrs. Clin­ton. They have since ap­pealed to the 10th U.S. Cir­cuit Court of Ap­peals in Den­ver.

The elec­tors — Polly Baca, Michael Baca and Michael Ne­manich — have said they may cast their votes for an al­ter­na­tive to Mrs. Clin­ton in an ef­fort to deny the pres­i­dency to Repub­li­can Don­ald Trump as part of the Hamil­ton Elec­tors move­ment.

The ef­fort is aimed at per­suad­ing Demo­cratic and Repub­li­can elec­tors to defy the pop­u­lar vote in their states and cast their bal­lots in­stead for a third can­di­date, pos­si­bly a mod­er­ate Repub­li­can, when Elec­toral Col­lege mem­bers cast of­fi­cial votes in each of the 50 states and in the Dis­trict of Columbia.

Twenty-nine states and the Dis­trict re­quire elec­tors to cast their bal­lots for the win­ner of the pop­u­lar vote in their ju­ris­dic­tions.

Af­ter the hear­ing, Mr. Wil­liams said he may pur­sue sanc­tions against the elec­tors. Un­der Colorado law, faith­less elec­tors may face mis­de­meanor crim­i­nal charges with a fine of $1,000 and up to one year in jail.

“If you take an oath of of­fice and then im­me­di­ately vi­o­late it, that should have con­se­quences,” Mr. Wil­liams told Den­verite.

Mr. Wil­liams, a Repub­li­can, has been highly crit­i­cal of Ms. Baca and Mr. Ne­manich, who sought a tem­po­rary in­junc­tion against the law but were de­nied in Mon­day’s de­ci­sion. Mr. Baca is in­volved in the Hamil­ton Elec­tors move­ment but did not join the law­suit.

“Make no mis­take, this is not some no­ble ef­fort to fight some un­just or un­con­sti­tu­tional law; rather, this is an ar­ro­gant at­tempt by two faith­less elec­tors to el­e­vate their per­sonal de­sires over the en­tire will of the peo­ple of Colorado,” Mr. Wil­liams said last week in a state­ment. “And in do­ing so, they seek to vi­o­late Colorado law and their own pledges.”

Elec­tors led by House Mi­nor­ity Leader Nancy Pelosi’s daugh­ter Chris­tine Pelosi of Cal­i­for­nia have called for an in­tel­li­gence brief­ing be­fore the Elec­toral Col­lege vote on claims of Rus­sian in­ter­fer­ence in the pres­i­den­tial race.

The Mon­day let­ter to Di­rec­tor of Na­tional In­tel­li­gence James R. Clap­per orig­i­nally had 10 sig­na­tures, but an­other 20 elec­tors have since signed the let­ter. At least one, Chris Suprun of Texas, is a Repub­li­can pledged to vote for Mr. Trump for car­ry­ing his state.

AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS PHO­TO­GRAPHS

Michael Baca (cen­ter) and two other Elec­toral Col­lege mem­bers in Colorado have said they may cast their votes for an al­ter­na­tive to Hil­lary Clin­ton in an ef­fort to deny the pres­i­dency to Repub­li­can Don­ald Trump as part of the Hamil­ton Elec­tors move­ment.

Wil­liams

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