Tuesday, October 18, 2016

From Politico: The People Who Pick the President

This is sweet!

Background on the handful of people who will cast the actual votes for the president on the real election day: December 19.

They might not vote as expected - see this link to faithless electors.

- Click here for the complete calendar.

- Click here for the article.

Tear up your countdown calendar: The 2016 election will not end on Nov. 8. In fact, it'll carry on until mid-December, when 538 members of the Electoral College huddle in their respective state capitals and cast the only ballots with the power to formally elect the next president.

Because they have rarely deviated from the will of the voters—and never changed the outcome of an election—this constitutional process remains an obscure and anonymous relic of the Founding Fathers. But for six weeks, this assortment of party insiders, donors and, in some cases, fringe activists will be the most powerful force in American democracy. And most Americans will never know who they are.

They include people like Tim Dreste, who was convicted of inciting violence against abortion providers in the 1990s and still wants them to fear him, and Monica Acosta-Zamora, the Texas Democrat who despises Hillary Clinton but became an elector to help a jailed friend. They also include Sybrina Fulton—Trayvon Martin’s mother—and Chris Christie’s dad, Wilbur. There’s a 93-year-old granddaughter of slaves and a 19-year-old Republican activist. Others still are Bernie Sanders supporters and political trailblazers, a motorcycle lobbyist and a Powerball winner.

Though voters will cast ballots for Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton and several third-party candidates on Election Day, their votes will actually elect partisan slates of Electoral College members. The smallest have just three, and the largest, California, has 55. Republicans and Democrats in each state choose a set of electors—and if their candidate wins the popular vote on Election Day, their slate of electors gets picked to cast ballots in December.

These members are largely bound—by law and by oath—to uphold the will of the voters. And throughout history, few have deviated from that path.

But 2016 is an upside-down year featuring deeply unpopular candidates. A few electors have already threatened to break from Trump or Clinton and vote their conscience—even if that means bucking the will of their state's voters.

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