Is the electorate required to adhere to the popular vote?

Anonymous writes...

"In states where the electorate is not bound by law to follow the popular vote, do the voters have any legal recourse in, for example, civil court or even federal court, to protest the electorate not following the popular vote?"

  

The short answer is no, but it would create an epic shit storm of anger. Furthermore, you can bet that should an electorate not follow the popular vote, legal action would ensue and laws most likely amended in that particular state.

The long answer...

There is no Constitutional provision or Federal law that requires Electors to vote according to the results of the popular vote in their States. Some States, however, REQUIRE Electors to cast their votes according to the popular vote. These pledges fall into two categories: Electors bound by State law and those bound by pledges to political parties.

The U.S. Supreme Court has held that the Constitution does not require that Electors be completely free to act as they choose and therefore, political parties may extract pledges from electors to vote for the parties’ nominees. Some State laws provide that so-called "faithless Electors"; may be subject to fines or may be disqualified for casting an invalid vote and be replaced by a substitute elector. The Supreme Court has not specifically ruled on the question of whether pledges and penalties for failure to vote as pledged may be enforced under the Constitution. No Elector has ever been prosecuted for failing to vote as pledged.

Today, it is rare for Electors to disregard the popular vote by casting their electoral vote for someone other than their party’s candidate. Electors generally hold a leadership position in their party or were chosen to recognize years of loyal service to the party. Throughout our history as a nation, more than 99 percent of Electors have voted as pledged.

For more information on which states do and do not have electorate laws:
www.archives.gov/

  • 14855

Info
Created:
Updated:
Top Categories

"All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent."

 Thomas Jefferson

It's Popular. Take a Look.

Why are elections held on a Tuesday in November?

Anonymous writes... "Can you please answer me this. Why are federal elections held on the first Tuesday in November? What makes it so special and why was it chosen?"     First, federal elections are held on the Tuesday after the first Monday in November. To answer your question, the Tuesday after the first Monday in November was initially established in 1845 (3 U.S.C. 1) for the appointment of

Can a Dem/Rep primary losing candidate run as a third party candidate?

Anonymous writes... "Once the Primary is over. If a candidate does not win in the party they ran in can he/she switch to lets say a different party like Libertarian or some other open party to run against the Republicans and Democrats in the run off?"    Yes. If a candidate does not win the primary, he/she can run as a third party candidate or write-in in the general election (not runoff). HOWE

Do primaries still take place with one candidate left in the race?

William writes... "Do Republican Primaries still take place, now that only 1 candidate remains? How does the whole process work now?"   Great question. Yes, a primary still takes place with only 1 candidate ("the presumptive nominee") remaining in the race. People can still vote for the other candidates appearing on the ballot (who have since dropped out), and the results will be counted - ho

What is the difference between a primary, caucus and convention?

Anonymous writes... "I don't understand the differences between a primary and a caucus. Also, what do conventions have to do with anything?"   Primary: In a primary election, registered voters participate in selecting the candidate for the party's nomination by voting, as in a general election. After the votes are tallied, the number of votes a candidate receives determines the number of delega

Is the electorate required to adhere to the popular vote?

Anonymous writes... "In states where the electorate is not bound by law to follow the popular vote, do the voters have any legal recourse in, for example, civil court or even federal court, to protest the electorate not following the popular vote?"    The short answer is no, but it would create an epic shit storm of anger. Furthermore, you can bet that should an electorate not follow the popula

Didn't vote in primary. Can I still vote in general election?

Bob writes... "if I don't vote in Indiana primary, can I vote in general election?"    I get this question a lot! 'If I don't vote in the primary or caucus, can I vote in November's general election?' Yes, you can still vote in November. And yes, you can also vote for whomever you want. Another question I get frequently is this: "do I have to vote for the candidate in the party I am registere

What is the order of succession in the US?

Anonymous writes... "What is the order of succession should the President die, become incapacitated, or is otherwise unable to finish his term of office?"    The order of succession is as follows: Vice President, Speaker of the House, President Pro Tempore of the Senate, Secretary of State, Secretary of the Treasury, Secretary of Defense, Attorney General, and Secretaries of the Interior, Agricu

What's the difference between an open vs. closed primary?

Abe D. writes..."Jeff. What's the difference between an open primary and a closed primary? It's so bloody confusing! How do I get more info for rules & the process my state?"  Good question Abe.Here goes! I found some great sources of info for you, too.In a CLOSED primary, only voters registered for the party which is holding the primary may vote. For instance: if the Democrat Party

Will switching parties change how I can vote?

Cathy F. writes... "I live in columbus, ohio i think i might be register as an independent. can i still vote republican without changing my status."    Yes, you can still vote Republican in the GENERAL ELECTION in November. You can vote for anybody you wish once you step in the voting booth, no matter how you are registered. I am registered Independent in Florida and vote for who I feel is th

Why don't we have write-in votes?

Benny B writes... "I wan't to know why we don't have write in votes. That's telling me I can't vote for my candidate. Neither nominee is good for America, but we're forced to vote Party lines that we disagree with or not vote at all. I'm really perturbed with the whole bunch of them."    We do have write-in candidates / votes! You may vote for whomever you wish on your ballot. Primaries are a l

Website: OnTheIssues.org

It's motto: "Every political leader on every issue." Learn where your politicians stand and how they voted on issues of importance to you. https://www.ontheissues.org

Website: VoteSmart.org

Find your elected officials: biographies, voting records, issue positions, ratings, speeches, campaign finance information. All politicians. Instantly. Join Project Vote Smart in their commitment to providing factual, unbiased information on candidates and elected officials to all Americans. They are funded exclusively through contributions from private citizens and philanthropic foundations. The