About Elisabeth Britt

Before becoming a citizen journalist, Elisabeth Britt worked in Olympia as a legislative aide. Locally, she served on the WRIA 1 Planning Unit, the Coordinated Water System Plan and as a state team member for the Federal Lummi Nation Water Rights Negotiations. In other roles, Britt served as chair of the Public Safety Committee for WDOT Whitewater Amphitheater Blue Ribbon Traffic Safety Commission and sat on the WA State Department of Ecology Citizen’s Advisory Committee.

By: Elisabeth Britt (14)

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

• Topics: Elections, Open Government,

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

Before becoming a citizen journalist, Elisabeth Britt worked in Olympia as a legislative aide. Locally, she served on the WRIA 1 Planning Unit, the Coordinated Water System Plan and as a [...]

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

By Elisabeth BrittOn Nov 20, 2020

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, [...]

3 comments, most recent 1 month ago

Seattle Times to Doug Ericksen: Step Down

By Elisabeth BrittOn May 19, 2019

State Senator Ericksen with Cambodia Prime Minister Hun Sen. On May 14th the Seattle Times published an editorial titled “Senator Doug Ericksen should break his Cambodia deal or step down.” [...]

8 comments, most recent 1 year ago

What on Earth Is Doug Ericksen Doing In Cambodia?

By Elisabeth BrittOn Jul 28, 2018

Michael Riordan jointly researched and wrote this article with Elisabeth Britt. They have collaborated on several articles and their joint articles can be found in searches under the name of [...]

11 comments, most recent 2 years ago

Updatd: County Council May Try End Run on State Legislature

By Elisabeth BrittOn Feb 06, 2018

Updated January 31, 2018 On January 30th, the Whatcom County Council adopted Interim Ordinance 2018-057 - repealing emergency Ordinance 2017-001 (the County moratorium on drilling permit-exempt wells due to the WA Supreme [...]

9 comments, most recent 2 years ago

See no evil – speak no evil – hear no evil

By Elisabeth BrittOn Jan 21, 2018

Regarding House Concurrent Resolution 4413, now in progress in our state legislature. I’ve been waiting seventeen years for the Washington state Legislature to address incidents of sexual harassment and workplace [...]

2 comments, most recent 2 years ago

Gov Inslee Signs Rural Water Fix Legislation

By Elisabeth BrittOn Jan 19, 2018

Editor note: Governor Inslee signed legislation this morning, Friday, Jan 19, to break the impasse that has frozen new water permits for over a year in rural Whatcom County. Here is [...]

6 comments, most recent 2 years ago

Demonizing Satpal Sidhu

By Elisabeth BrittOn Jun 16, 2017

In the blood sport we have come to recognize as partisan politics, public exchanges among political opponents often deteriorate into verbal abuse, character assassination, vilification and smear campaigns. Smear campaigns, [...]

9 comments, most recent 3 years ago

Smear Campaign

By Elisabeth BrittOn May 29, 2017

It seems that an outrageous smear campaign has been launched against a Whatcom County Councilmember, Satpal Sidhu, by a previous Councilmember, Mrs. Kathy Kershner, who ran against Mr. Sidhu in 2015. [...]

15 comments, most recent 3 years ago

The Human Right to Water

By Elisabeth BrittOn Mar 15, 2017

It is time for the state of Washington to adopt legislation acknowledging the human right to water. The Hirst Decision has created an impenetrable roadblock for rural property owners who [...]

22 comments, most recent 3 years ago

A Water Shortage Problem, NOT a Water Shortage

By Elisabeth BrittOn Dec 19, 2016

On December 6, the Whatcom County Council voted 5 to 2 (Brenner and Mann voted no) to lift the temporary moratorium that was passed on November 9, 2016. The new interim ordinance that replaces it [...]

3 comments, most recent 4 years ago

County Rural Residents Can Check On Water

By Elisabeth BrittOn Dec 03, 2016

The Department of Ecology has posted an interactive map to assist Whatcom County with determining legally available domestic water availability. The map displays areas where instream flows are not being [...]

3 comments, most recent 4 years ago

Well Drilling & the Burden of Proof

By Elisabeth BrittOn Nov 25, 2016

The Whatcom County Council is holding a public hearing on Tuesday, December 6th on draft ordinance 2016-309A. I’d be happy to provide a link to the document and [...]

Water Well Drilling Moratorium is Bad Idea

By Elisabeth BrittOn Nov 25, 2016

In October, the Washington Supreme Court entered a decision in Whatcom County v. Hirst, (Hirst) a Growth Management Act (GMA) case. In the opinion, the court states that counties have [...]

1 comment, most recent 4 years ago

County Council Rep Ken Mann Has a Hangover

By Elisabeth BrittOn Nov 19, 2016

Whatcom County Councilmember Ken Mann has an election hangover. What’s an election hangover, you may ask? It’s a political term that is often used to describe a sitting [...]