Colorado electors file suit to unbind their Electoral College votes

UPDATE — 12/14, 2:36 p.m. EST: A Colorado judge ruled Tuesday that the state’s presidential electors must vote for Democrat Hillary Clinton, granting a request submitted by Secretary of State Wayne Williams.

Judge Elizabeth Starrs also determined that the state’s electors, chosen by Colorado voters Nov. 8, can be removed upon commencement of the Electoral College meeting on Dec. 19 in Denver if they refuse to abide.

On Monday, two Colorado electors bound by a state statute to vote for Hillary Clinton challenged the law in federal court, but the judge rejected their appeal.

“What we’re asking the court to do is protect against the chaos that would ensue from faithless electors failing to perform their state law duties,” a Colorado state attorney general’s office lawyer told Judge Starrs in court Tuesday.

 

Ahead of the scheduled Dec. 19 Electoral College meetings at state capitals throughout the country, two Colorado electors have filed suit challenging a state law which compels them to cast their ballot for the victor of the state’s popular vote, which Democrat Hillary Clinton won on Nov. 8.

According to the attorney Jason Wesoky, plaintiffs Polly Baca and Robert Nemanich intend to “vote their conscience and do their constitutional duty as intended by the framers.”

Both Democrats and self-described “Moral Electors,” Baca and Nemanich’s purpose is to thwart Republican Donald Trump from assuming the White House.

The pair aim to work with electors in other states to constitute a “Moral Electors” movement and cast their ballots in favor of a third-party candidate, but no candidate has been determined  yet.

Although there is no federal statute binding presidential electors, Colorado state law prohibits its electors from defecting and violating obligations to the popular vote winner.  Colorado is one of 29 states which fines faithless electors up to $1,500 for failing to vote for the candidate who won the state in a presidential election.

Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams, along with Governor John Hickenlooper, and Attorney General Cynthia Coffman, are named as defendants in the lawsuit.  Williams and Coffman are both Republicans; Hickenlooper is a Democrat.

Following the filing of the lawsuit, Williams cautioned both Baca and Nemanich, warning each they face removal as Electors should they cast their ballot for a candidate other than Clinton.

“Instead of honoring the will of the Coloradans who voted for them, these two faithless electors seek to conspire with electors from other states to elect a president who did not receive a single vote in November,” Williams said in a statement.

According to the latest tally by The Cook Political Report, Clinton won the national popular vote by over 2.8 million votes or 2.1 percentage points.

 

[The Hill] [AP] [Photo courtesy Inquisitr]