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#21465 - Thu Nov 09 2000 12:03 AM Electors
CellarDoor Offline
Multiloquent

Registered: Sat Feb 12 2000
Posts: 4894
Loc: Seattle
Washington USA
An elector in the U.S. electoral college is not federally required to cast his/her vote for the candidate mandated by the public.

1) What is the phrase for an elector who "switches" their vote, departing from what they're supposed to do?

2) This has happened 5 times since 1960 (including the 1960 election.) Name these five electors, their states, the election year, who they were supposed to vote for and who they actually voted for.

3) In one US state, it is against state law to cast an electoral vote for the non-mandated person. Name the state.

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#21466 - Thu Nov 09 2000 12:07 AM Re: Electors
hundredaire Offline
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Registered: Tue Aug 29 2000
Posts: 422
Loc: Hell Michigan USA
20 U.S. states don't allow electors to change their votes.

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#21467 - Thu Nov 09 2000 12:13 AM Re: Electors
CellarDoor Offline
Multiloquent

Registered: Sat Feb 12 2000
Posts: 4894
Loc: Seattle
Washington USA
Cool, Hundredaire. I didn't know that but I believe it. Strike Question 3, then. The other questions still stand.
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#21468 - Mon Nov 13 2000 09:18 PM Re: Electors
hundredaire Offline
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Registered: Tue Aug 29 2000
Posts: 422
Loc: Hell Michigan USA
Actually there are 25 states that don't allow electors to change their votes. The answer to #1 is a faithless elector.

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#21469 - Mon Nov 13 2000 09:41 PM Re: Electors
hundredaire Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: Tue Aug 29 2000
Posts: 422
Loc: Hell Michigan USA
All the faithless electors in the 20th century:

In 1948, Preston Parks, a Truman Elector in Tennessee, voted for Governor Strom Thurmond who was running for President on the Dixiecrat ticket. That is the same Strom Thurmond who has been a Senator from South Carolina since 1955, and is now the President Pro Tempore of the Senate.

In 1956, W.F. Turner, who had been elected as a Stevenson (Democratic) Elector voted instead for Walter E. Jones, a local judge. By the time he cast his vote for Jones, Turner knew that his candidate had lost the election, and that his vote would not make a difference in the outcome.

In 1960, a Nixon Elector named Henry D. Irwin of Oklahoma changed his vote to Harry F. Byrd, a Senator from Virginia. Byrd had run as an independent, and gained votes in the South where the southern Democrats did not agree with Kennedy’s civil rights position. Byrd won all of Mississippi’s eight electoral votes, six of Alabama’s eleven electoral votes, and the one from the faithless elector in Oklahoma. Again, it was not enough to change the results, but it did make an already tight election even closer.

In 1968, Dr. Lloyd Bailey, a Nixon Elector from North Carolina, cast his vote for American Independent Party candidate George C. Wallace. Wallace carried five Deep South states that year, plus this one vote from North Carolina for a total of 46 electoral votes. Wallace came very close to denying either of the two major candidates (Nixon and Humphrey) an electoral majority and thus throwing the election into the House of Representatives. Wallace hoped that by doing so, he would have the balance of power in choosing the next President and thus be able to extract concessions from one or both of the candidates.

In 1972, Roger L. MacBride voted for the Libertarian Party candidate, John Hospers. MacBride had been elected as a Nixon Elector in Virginia. After receiving a great deal of publicity, MacBride ran for President as a Libertarian in 1976.

In 1976, Mike Padden was a lawyer from Spokane who served as an elector for the Republicans in the state of Washington. Gerald Ford had lost the election, and Padden rubbed salt in the wound by voting for Ronald Reagan. Oddly enough, Padden's protest was not against Ford but against Jimmy Carter, who he said "consistenly refused to do anything to protect the most basic civil right of all, the right to life itself." He voted for Reagan because he felt that he had the proper pro-life position.

In 1988, Margarette Leach, a nurse and Democratic activist from Huntington, West Virginia, served as a Dukakis elector. After her nomination, she was shocked to learn from a doctor colleague that presidential electors could vote for whomever they pleased. She felt that this was not a good situation and she wanted to call attention to it. Leach tried to convince her fellow electors to join her in placing Democratic Vice Presidential nominee Lloyd Bentsen atop her ticket and Presidential nominee Michael Dukakis in the Vice President slot. They didn't, but Leach did anyway.

[This message has been edited by hundredaire (edited 11-13-2000).]


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#21470 - Tue Nov 14 2000 02:53 PM Re: Electors
CellarDoor Offline
Multiloquent

Registered: Sat Feb 12 2000
Posts: 4894
Loc: Seattle
Washington USA
You got it!
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