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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Spin Control

Circuit Court turns down Hamilton Electors appeal

Two members of the Washington Electoral College will have to decide whether they will break their pledge to vote for the winner of the state's popular vote and risk a fine in their effort to keep Donald Trump from being president.

The two -- Bret Chiafolo and Levi Guerra -- aren't pledged to Trump, but Hillary Clinton, who won Washington back on Nov. 8. But they're part of an effort to convince Republican electors in other states not to vote for Trump, and would vote for a compromise candidate if one should emerge.

Earlier this week a federal judge refused to grant them a court order that would keep the state from enforcing a statute that calls for a fine of up to $1,000 for an elector who doesn't honor the pledge each must sign to vote for the winner of the popular vote. They haven't broken their pledge, so the state hasn't tried to slap them with the fine, so there's no reason for the court to get involved, the judge said.

Today the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals agreed, saying this is all speculative, so the two electors can't show they've been harmed.

Electoral College meets Monday at noon in the state Capitol Building.

The Spokesman-Review's political team keeps a critical eye on local, state and national politics.