What Happens When Faithless Electors Break Their Pledge?

Faithless Electors - What Happens If Electors Break Their Pledge?

(UnitedVoice.com) – The 2020 presidential election was highly contentious. Nearly three weeks later, the American people still aren’t sure who the next president will be. The situation has led to a lot of questions about how the country’s elections work. Specifically, what happens if the electors who are sent to vote cast their ballots for someone other than the person who won a state’s popular vote.

When states certify their election results, they send pledged electors to the Electoral College to cast their ballots for the person who wins the popular vote in the state. However, there’s a possibility of a faithless elector coming along and throwing a wrench in the plans.

A faithless elector is a person who does not vote for the state’s popular vote winner. Currently, 33 states have laws preventing this from happening. The Supreme Court upheld those laws in the 2020 decision in the Chiafalo v. Washington case.

Only five states actually penalize faithless electors. So, can these people overturn an election? It’s very unlikely. It would require a massive revolt, and the courts would likely step in to prevent that from happening.

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