Topic: Open Government (243)

Together, We Can Stop Trump’s Relentless Campaign to Destroy Democracy


Some readers may not realize it, but when we cast a vote in a presidential election, we are electing the presidential electors that were nominated by that candidate’s party, not the actual candidate listed on the ballot.

In some states, the electors appear on the ballot. But for the most part, they are nominated at state party conventions or by state party committees. When a presidential candidate wins the popular vote in a state, that party’s slate of electors will cast a vote for the victorious candidate.

Article II of the United States Constitution does not provide detailed guidance for the nomination of candidates for presidential electors. Hence, the absence of detailed guidance allows state legislatures to adopt new rules for picking electors for their state. But, in order to avoid the appearance of election tampering, those changes should be enacted prior to the election — not after the election has taken place.

On July 6, 2020, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled unanimously in Chiafalo et all v Washington No. 19-465 that a state may penalize “faithless electors” who break their pledge to vote for their party’s presidential nominee. The legal challenges were filed by Electoral College appointees from Colorado and the state of Washington who refused to cast their electoral votes for Hillary Clinton the winner in both states in the 2016 election.

The Supreme Court’s opinion and syllabus provide clarity regarding the role of electors in each state and seeks to prevent attempts to marginalize the popular vote during presidential elections. In the decision, the Court determined that Article II grants the States the authority to appoint electors while:

“conveying the broadest power of determination” over who becomes an elector. McPherson v. Blacker, 146 U. S. 1, 27. And the power to appoint an elector (in any manner) includes power to condition his appointment, absent some other constitutional constraint. A State can require, for example, that an elector live in the State or qualify as a regular voter during the relevant time period. Or more substantively, a State can insist (as Ray allowed) that the elector pledge to cast his Electoral College ballot for his party’s presidential nominee, thus tracking the State’s popular vote. Or—so long as nothing else in the Constitution poses an obstacle—a State can add an associated condition of appointment: It can demand that the elector actually live up to his pledge, on pain of penalty. Which is to say that the State’s appointment power, barring some outside constraint, enables the enforcement of a pledge like Washington’s.”

Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson told CNBC in an interview that this Supreme Court decision supports “the fundamental principle that the vote of the people should matter in choosing the president.”

Nevertheless, today President Trump is meeting with two powerful members of the Michigan Republican Party in hope of persuading them to appoint new electors that will vote for him instead of Joe Biden.

What can we do to stop this charade? Contact the legislators listed below and ask them to respect their oath to uphold the U.S. Constitution, Michigan state law and the rights of the American voters.

You can reach them by email or phone at the addresses and numbers listed below.

Representative Lee Chatfield

Michigan Speaker of the House

.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Office #: (517) 373-2629

Senator Mike Shirkey

Michigan Senate Majority Leader

.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Office #: (517) 373-5932

About Elisabeth Britt

Posting Citizen Journalist • Member since Mar 23, 2009

Comments by Readers

John Servais

Nov 21, 2020

We should not think the danger in Michigan is behind us.  While these two elected leaders of the Michigan legislature made a statement after their meeting with president Trump that they will not introduce legislation to elect Trump electors and ignore the vote of the citizens of Michigan, they have not yet approved the electors of the people.  Letting them know the nation is watching them is not extreme.

While the Michigan legislators have now explained they met with him only because they would have met with any president who asked them to meet, Trump is not so innocent.  He tried to convince them to commit a crime - indeed, it can be called treason, as they were asked to violate the Constitution.  The fact they said they were not convinced to vote for new Trump elecors is open evidence that Trump tried to convince them to commit a crime.  Let us not pretend they were invited to have tea and talk about the weather.  What Trump is attempting is the equivalent of jury tampering or trying to influence a judge in a trial you are a party. Serious crimes.

I will not be writing these two legislators.  My efforts, along with two co-owners, are in keeping this website open for citizen voices - for those not being paid to write for or against political issues.  But for any who feel the Michigan elected leaders need to know the entire nation is watching them, sending them an email is most appropriate.  We all need to consider what we can do to support our democracy and our republic in this dangerous time.

We are still in danger.  Trump has shown he will go beyond what sane people think is beyond belief. He is a dangerous wounded animal - a ruthless predator. 


Ryan M. Ferris

Nov 21, 2020

If you type “How to hack a voting system” into Google you will see how long and how easy it is to hack a Presidential election and how long the experts have been warning us about this. Usually, both parties look the other way on this issue and have for years to the astonishment of many of us! It would be heavily ironic if Trump is one who finally cleans up insecure and rigged voting machines! Whether he should be president or not is rather beside the point. Voting machine security has been ignored by both parties for years. Somebody was going to pay the price for this eventually.


Janet Lutz-Smith

Nov 22, 2020

I am just ONE of the victims of the Corona Virus. No, I don’t have it. I just tested negative! 

But, the question is: How long can we go on with staying home, a type of quarantine, even if one doesnt have the Virus?  Seems the time is indeterminent. Even when a vacine comes thru, it will take years for people to get the vacsination. 

So, what is Trump planning?  mainly, he doesn’t care about the number of people dying or sick from the co-vid19 Virus.So he’s ignoring the Pandemic!   But what he is planning, STILL, is how to overturn the election of the peoples Democratic Election of Joe Biden as our President! 

But not only that he’s planning what tactics he can use to hinder the elected President from starting a successful beginning to his term!  He refuses to Concede and do the Transition which is the Traditional way a new President is brought into the “job”! 

Also, he has started a PAC! And, is, according to an article I just read, is “milking” people who are joining the PAC, and putting money into his  personal account! How can that not be a criminal activity?

My deep HOPE is that somehow there is a way to stop this Madman, this very sick, indecent person from continuing to jeopardize our Democracy!

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