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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Spin Control

Sunday Spin 2: What about those faithless electors?

Members of the Electoral College will meet a week from Monday, and while Washington state’s 12 votes are slated to go to Democrat Hillary Clinton, at least two of those electors have signaled that might not happen. Robert Satiacum has said he won’t vote for Clinton. Bret Chiafolo has said he might not, if some Republican electors in other states will agree not to cast their votes for Trump.

Washington has what’s known as a “faithless elector” statute, which calls for a civil fine of as much as $1,000 for an elector who doesn’t cast his or her ballot for the person winning the state’s popular vote. But would the state actually pursue the claim?

The attorney general’s office is noncommittal at this point. A spokesman for Attorney General Bob Ferguson said the Democratic Party could always replace an elector who won’t vote for the party’s nominee before the meeting on Dec. 19.

“If some electors violate state law on the 19th as they have suggested, we will consider our legal options at that point,” Peter Lavallee said.

Jim Camden
Jim Camden joined The Spokesman-Review in 1981 and retired in 2021. He is currently the political and state government correspondent covering Washington state.

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