The process itself is flawed. If the purpose of the electors is to vote to prevent unqualified or dangerous candidates from being elevated to the office, then why should they be bound to either candidate? That defeats the whole purpose and idea. Any states requiring electors to vote for the winner of the popular vote in that state should review the laws with an eye toward changing them.
According to BR, Colorado’s Secretary of State Wayne Williams was interviewed by POLITICO, saying that before Monday’s meeting of the Electoral College, he will demand felony perjury charges against any electors that abstain or change their votes.
According to Williams, a group of Democratic presidential electors in the state of Colorado have indicated that they might reject voting for Hillary Clinton, part of a national strategy meant to block the election of Donald Trump.
When Williams gave an interview to POLITICO by telephone, he said that he fully intends to call for an oath to electors before Monday, when the Electoral College meets. This means that if they choose to oppose Hillary Clinton they will be violating their oath, as well as violating the state law of Colorado that requires them to vote for the winner of Colorado’s popular vote.
Williams told POLITICO:
‘If Elector A writes down Bernie Sanders or Ted Cruz or anyone other than Hillary Clinton, they immediately cease to be an elector and they’re replaced. The difference here is you have perjured yourself.
‘If you swear the oath and then immediately violate it, I think there’s a basis for more severe criminal penalty.’
Williams also noted during the interview that despite what he would suggest he isn’t a prosecutor and therefore isn’t able to say whether electors could be charged with felony perjury or misdemeanor perjury. Felony perjury would carry a charge of a $500,000 fine and up to six years in prison. Misdemeanor perjury is a $5,000 fine and a possible prison sentence of 18 months maximum.
The Colorado electors intending to oppose Clinton are Michael Baca, Robert Nemanich, Polly Baca, and Jerad Sutton, members of the Hamilton Electors. The Hamilton Electors are a group that are currently asking Republican electors to reject Trump and choose an alternative.
Both Robert Nemanich and Polly Baca filed a lawsuit to stop the state from forcing electors to vote one way or the other. However, it was denied by a federal judge and is currently under appeal. Monday’s vote will reveal who among the electors will reject Clinton in defiance or cast their votes for Clinton.
So far the only elector that has spoken out, insisting that his decision is final, regardless of what the courts rule, is Michael Baca, who reportedly said:
‘I do intend to vote my conscience on Monday the 19th.’
He also insisted that hearing Williams say that defectors would charged with perjury that Williams is simply, “continuing the threats made against electors, which I don’t feel is constitutional.”
On Tuesday, a state court ruling clarified that as secretary of state, Williams has the authority to remove electors that refuse to swear an oath in support of Hillary Clinton.
Williams pointed out that despite the fact that this certainly isn’t the first time that electors will have sworn an oath to uphold state law in Colorado in previous years, he will be very specific, leaving no wiggle room for electors that have threatened to reject Clinton.
‘I’m not a big fan of gotcha. I want people to know what it is they’re swearing so it’s clear and then they can make that decision.’