Supreme Court rules presidential electors must back their state’s popular vote winner

The Supreme Court ruled unanimously Monday that states can require presidential electors to back their states’ popular vote winner in the Electoral College.

The ruling, just under four months before the 2020 election, leaves in place laws in 32 states and the District of Columbia that bind their share of the 538 electors to vote for the stats’ popular-vote winner. Electors almost always do so anyway.

The unanimous decision in the “faithless elector” case was a defeat for those who want to change the Electoral College, and who believed a win would lead to presidential elections based on the popular or total number of votes.

But it was a win for state election officials who feared that giving more power to electors to make their own choice would cause chaos, the network said.

In 2016, Hillary Clinton won the popular vote by more than 2.6 million, but President Trump won the electoral college.

The closest Electoral College margin in recent years was in 2000, when Republican George W. Bush received 271 votes to 266 for Democrat Al Gore. One elector from Washington, D.C., left her ballot blank.

The Supreme Court played a decisive role in that election, ending a recount in Florida, where Bush held a 537-vote margin out of 6 million ballots cast.

With Associated Press

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