Sunday, November 13, 2016
In United States presidential elections, a faithless elector is a member of the United States Electoral College who does not vote for the presidential or vice-presidential candidate for whom they had pledged to vote. That is, they actually vote for another candidate, or fail to vote, or choose not to vote. A pledged elector can become a faithless elector only by breaking their pledge; unpledged electors have no pledge to break.
Electors are typically chosen and nominated by a political party or the party's presidential nominee: they are usually party members with a reputation for high loyalty to the party and its chosen candidate. Thus, a faithless elector runs the risk of party censure and political retaliation from their party, as well as potential criminal penalties in some states. Candidates for elector are nominated by state political parties in the months prior to Election Day. In some states, the electors are nominated in primaries, the same way other candidates are nominated. In some states, such as Oklahoma, Virginia, and North Carolina, electors are nominated in party conventions. In Pennsylvania, the campaign committee of each candidate names their candidates for elector (an attempt to discourage faithless electors). The parties have generally been successful in keeping their electors faithful, leaving out the cases in which a candidate died before the elector was able to cast a vote.
During the 1836 election, Virginia's entire 23-man electoral delegation faithlessly voted against victorious Democratic Party Vice Presidential Candidate Richard Mentor Johnson due to Johnson's openly admitted, publicized, long-term interracial relationship with his slave, Julia Chinn. The loss of Virginia's support caused Johnson to fall one electoral vote short of a majority, causing the Vice Presidential election to be thrown into the U.S. Senate for the only time in American history. However, Virginia's electors voted for Martin Van Buren as pledged, meaning the presidential election itself was not in dispute. The U.S. Senate ultimately elected Johnson anyway after a party-line vote. Despite 157 instances of faithlessness as of 2015, faithless electors have not yet affected the results or ultimate outcome of any other presidential election.
Trump is a pedophile and a known felon.