December 19, 2016; Huffington Post
Even as Trump coasted to an electoral vote victory yesterday, an historic number of electors did not vote as pledged:
- Maine Democratic elector David Bright declared he was casting his ballot for Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT). “I cast my vote for Bernie Sanders not out of spite, or malice, or anger, or as an act of civil disobedience,” Bright said in a statement. “I mean no disrespect to our nominee. I cast my vote to represent thousands of Democratic Maine voters―many less than a third my age―who came into Maine politics for the first time this year because of Bernie Sanders.” In the end, when Bright voted, it was declared out of order, so he voted for Clinton instead.
- One of 10 electors in Minnesota refused to vote for Clinton Monday and was reportedly dismissed. An alternate took her place. In Colorado, one elector was also replaced.
- In Washington State, four electors went rogue, casting their votes for former Secretary of State Colin Powell (3) and for Faith Spotted Eagle (1), an activist involved most recently with the Standing Rock Protest. Bret Chiafalo said he had planned to vote for Republican Ohio Governor John Kasich, but decided to vote for Powell instead after speaking to other of his state’s electors. Chiafalo was cofounder of the Hamilton Electors, which had campaigned to block Trump by encouraging electors on both sides of the aisle to unite behind Kasich.
- In Texas, Chris Suprun, a Republican elector from Texas, had said he, too, would vote for Gov. Kasich. “Ronald Reagan did not win the Cold War so that Vladimir Putin could pick our next president less than 50 years later,” he explained. His defection was not a lone act in the Lone Star State, however; another elector voted for Ron Paul.
What else makes yesterday historic? This president-elect lost the popular vote by almost 2.9 million votes, the biggest margin ever. Some are, of course, saying that most of that win came from California, where Clinton got 4.2 million more votes than Trump.
So, in summation, there were nine rogue votes, with all but two being from Democrats and the other two coming from one state—Texas. In the end, we all move forward.—Ruth McCambridge