2012 US Presidential Election, Electoral College, Electors, US Constitution, Federal Election Law, State Election Laws, State officers, State Election Officials, Judges, US Supreme Court Justices, Questions and answers

2012 US Presidential Election, Electoral College, Electors, US Constitution, Federal Election Law, State Election Laws, State officers, State Election Officials, Judges, US Supreme Court Justices, Questions and answers

“Our Constitution is in actual operation; everything appears to promise
that it will last; but nothing in this world is certain but death and
taxes.”     Benjamin Franklin

Reprinted from Citizen Wells December 13, 2008.

Presidential Election

ELECTORAL COLLEGE QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

Q: What is the Electoral College?:

A: The Electoral College was established by the founding fathers
as a compromise between election of the president by Congress and
election by popular vote. The people of the United States vote for
the electors who then vote for the President. Read more

Q: Frequently asked questions:

A: Read more here

Q: Why did the Founding Fathers create the Electoral College?:

A:  The Founding Father’s intent

Here is a quote by Alexander Hamilton who, like many of the founding
fathers, was “afraid a tyrant could manipulate public opinion and come
to power.” Hamilton wrote in the Federalist Papers:

“It was equally desirable, that the immediate election should be made
by men most capable of analyzing the qualities adapted to the station,
and acting under circumstances favorable to deliberation, and to a
judicious combination of all the reasons and inducements which were
proper to govern their choice. A small number of persons, selected by
their fellow-citizens from the general mass, will be most likely to
possess the information and discernment requisite to such complicated
investigations. It was also peculiarly desirable to afford as little
opportunity as possible to tumult and disorder. This evil was not least
to be dreaded in the election of a magistrate, who was to have so
important an agency in the administration of the government as the
President of the United States. But the precautions which have been so
happily concerted in the system under consideration, promise an
effectual security against this mischief.”

Q: What are the state laws governing Electors?:

A: List of states and restrictions on Electors

Q: What are so called “Faithless Electors”?:

A: “The Supreme Court has held that the Constitution does not require
that electors be completely free to act as they choose and therefore,
political parties may extract pledges from electors to vote for the
parties’ nominees. Some State laws provide that so-called “faithless
electors” may be subject to fines or may be disqualified for casting
an invalid vote and be replaced by a substitute elector. The Supreme
Court has not specifically ruled on the question of whether pledges
and penalties for failure to vote as pledged may be enforced under
the Constitution. No elector has ever been prosecuted for failing to
vote as pledged.” Read more here

The US Supreme Court Obviously has not given Electors the option to
violate the US Constitution. Therefore, obviously, if the presidential
candidate is qualified, party pledges and state laws are permissable.

Q: What must an Elector be aware of when voting for a presidential candidate?:

 A: The following are important considerations when casting a vote. Voting
as instructed by a political party, another person, or a state law in
conflict with the US Constitution or Federal Election Laws is a serious
matter. Those not voting in accordance with higher laws are subject to
prosecution and may be guilty of “High Crimes and Misdemeanors.”
High Crimes and Misdemeanors

UNITED STATES ELECTION LAW

“The following provisions of law governing Presidential Elections are contained in Chapter 1 of Title 3, United States Code (62 Stat. 672, as amended):”

“§ 8.   The electors shall vote for President and Vice President, respectively, in the manner directed by the Constitution.”

ARE ELECTORS REQUIRED TO VOTE ACCORDING TO POPULAR VOTE?

“There is no Constitutional provision or Federal law that requires
electors to vote according to the results of the popular vote in
their States. Some States, however, require electors to cast their
votes according to the popular vote. These pledges fall into two
categories—electors bound by State law and those bound by pledges
to political parties.”   (From US National Archives)

SO CALLED “FAITHLESS ELECTORS”

“It turns out there is no federal law that requires an elector to
vote according to their pledge (to their respective party). And so,
more than a few electors have cast their votes without following the
popular vote or their party. These electors are called “faithless
electors.”

In response to these faithless electors’ actions, several states
have created laws to enforce an elector’s pledge to his or her party
vote or the popular vote. Some states even go the extra step to
assess a misdemeanor charge and a fine to such actions. For example,
the state of North Carolina charges a fine of $10,000 to faithless
electors.

It’s important to note, that although these states have created these
laws, a large number of scholars believe that such state-level laws
hold no true bearing and would not survive constitutional challenge.”
Read more here

STATE LAW EXAMPLE: PENNSYLVANIA

Ҥ 3192. Meeting of electors; duties.
The electors chosen, as aforesaid, shall assemble at the seat
of government of this Commonwealth, at 12 o’clock noon of the
day which is, or may be, directed by the Congress of the United
States, and shall then and there perform the duties enjoined upon
them by the Constitution and laws of the United States
.”

“The mysteries of the Electoral College has enabled Pennsylvania
to play an unusually major role in determining who is President.
In 1796, Thomas Jefferson defeated John Adams in Pennsylvania’s
popular election by only 62 votes, but the Pennsylvania electors
gave Jefferson 14 votes and Adams 1, though Adams did win the
Electoral vote, 71 to 68.” Read more here

ELECTORS HELPED SAVE THE UNION

1860 election: 4 electors in New Jersey, pledged for Stephen Douglas,
voted for Republican candidate Abraham Lincoln.

Q: What happens after the Electoral College vote?:

A: Electoral College procedures

Q: What is the significance of your vote?:

A: The US Constitution clearly gives the states the power
and duties associated with electing a qualified president.
It is also clear that the states have not performed their
duties to ensure that the Electoral College votes will be
for a Qualified candidate. The Electors have a constitutional
duty to perform that supersedes any party contract or state
law. Each day that passes without verification of eligibility
of any candidate being voted for by Electors, brings us closer
to a constitutional crisis. There are pending court cases before
the US Supreme Court and state courts. Congress will meet in
January to count and certify votes and there will certainly be
challenges in Congress. If Congress or the courts shall fail to
do their duty, a Supreme Court Justice will be faced with a
decision to uphold the Constitution. The crisis will increase
in intensity.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the
Citizen Wells blog. Every effort has been made to ensure the
accuracy of the content. Readers are encouraged to visit source
material such as the US Constitution, Federal Election law and
state laws.






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