'Faithless Electors' so far Refusing to Vote for Hillary Clinton, Not Donald Trump

Hillary Clinton
Hillary Clinton / AP
December 19, 2016

The only known "faithless" presidential electors to not vote for the candidate who won their states have so far been Democrats refusing to support 2016 Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.

The Electoral College has been gathering in each state capital on Monday to officially vote for the next president of the United States.

One-third of Washington's electors did not vote for Clinton despite her winning the state last month, making them the only "faithless" electors to have their votes officially count in their state's final tally. Out of Washington's 12 total Electoral College votes, eight went to Clinton, three went to former Secretary of State Colin Powell, and one went to Faith Spotted Eagle, a Native American elder who has been opposing the Dakota Access Pipeline project in North Dakota.

In Minnesota, which Clinton also won, Democratic elector Muhammad Abdurrahman refused to vote for Clinton and attempted to support Sen. Bernie Sanders (I.,Vt.) and Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D., Hawaii) as his vice president. Abdurrahman was a delegate for Sanders during the Democratic National Convention.

Abdurrahman was then replaced by an alternate, as state law requires, giving Clinton a unanimous victory in the state with 10 votes.


A Democratic elector in Maine underwent a similar experience. David Bright wrote on his Facebook page Monday morning that he would cast his Electoral College vote for Sanders to show support for the young people who supported him during the Democratic primary. But after Bright initially voted for Sanders, the president of the Electoral College, Beverly Johnson, ruled his vote was out of order. Maine is one of 30 states that require electors to vote as pledged.

The electors then voted a second time, and Bright supported Clinton, according to the Portland Press Herald.

Three of Maine's four electoral votes went to Clinton, with the other going to President-elect Donald Trump. Maine is one of only two states–Nebraska is the other–where Electoral College votes are split based on congressional districts.

In Colorado, where Clinton won on Nov. 8., it was a Republican who would not along with his fellow electors. One elector, Micheal Baca, refused to vote for the former Democratic nominee, instead casting his ballot for Republican Ohio Gov. John Kasich. He was subsequently removed from the Electoral College panel and may face criminal charges. Clinton won all nine of Colorado's electoral votes on Monday.

Another Republican "faithless elector" also caused a stir, this time in Texas. Elector Chris Suprun has promised for weeks not to support Trump. The state's vote is still ongoing.

Democrats have attempted for weeks to sway Republican electors to vote for any candidate other than Donald Trump. For example, liberal filmmaker Michael Moore offered to pay the fines of Republican electors who refuse to vote for Trump, and a group of celebrities even made a video to plead with electors to ditch the president-elect.

It was widely expected that potential "faithless" electors would refuse to support Trump, but there was less focus on electors who may refuse to vote for Clinton.

Trump won 306 electoral votes on Nov. 8 to Clinton's 232. A candidate needs at least 270 votes to become president.