- The Washington Times - Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Two Colorado Democratic electors have lost their bid to break with the popular vote after a federal judge threw out their motion, calling it a “political stunt.”

U.S. District Court Judge Wiley Daniel rejected late Monday the request for a temporary injunction to suspend a Colorado law requiring members of the Electoral College to cast their ballots for the presidential candidate receiving the most votes.

“Part of me thinks this is really a political stunt to prevent Donald Trump from becoming president,” said Judge Daniel, appointed to the bench by President Bill Clinton.

The legal challenge comes as a last-ditch bid to head off President-elect Donald Trump, who won the Nov. 8 election with 306 electors to 232 for Democrat Hillary Clinton.

The Democrats, Polly Baca and Robert Nemanich, argued that the Colorado law binding them to the popular vote violates the Constitution, arguing that the framers viewed the Electoral College as a “deliberative and independent body free to cast votes for whomever they deem to be the most fit and qualified candidates.”

The two Democrats are part of a national movement called Hamilton Electors aimed at convincing Republican and Democratic electors to break with the popular vote and support a Republican alternative instead.

The electors could pursue an emergency appeal before the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals, but time is running out. The Electoral College members meet to cast their votes Monday in all 50 states.

Twenty-nine states and the District of Columbia bind their presidential electors to the popular vote, with penalties typically involving fines for “faithless electors” who fail to do so, although such instances are rare.

This year, however, foes of Mr. Trump have engaged in a series of long-shot efforts to upend the Electoral College outcome.

Ten electors led by House Minority Nancy Pelosi’s daughter Christine Pelosi demanded Monday a briefing on Mr. Trump’s ties to allegations of Russian-backed hacking of Democratic accounts during the campaign.

Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams is scheduled to appear Tuesday in Denver District Court to seek guidance on how to proceed if the electors vote for someone other than Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, who won the state in the Nov. 8 election.

This article is based in part on wire service reports.


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