- The Washington Times - Friday, January 17, 2020

The Supreme Court will decide whether presidential electors can cast their votes contrary to the popular vote in their state, and instead according to their own discretion.

The challenge comes after Washington state’s Supreme Court upheld fines against three 2016 presidential electors who did not cast their votes for Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine, violating state law. Ms. Clinton and Mr. Kaine won the popular vote in the state.

But the individuals have challenged Washington’s law as a violation of the Constitution, noting the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled individuals “‘are free to vote as they choose’ in the Electoral College, in a similar case out of Colorado.

The two legal battles sought high court review and the justices announced Friday they have been granted.

The arguments are set for April, with a decision to be issued by the end of June, according to The Associated Press.

Advocates seeking the high court’s review on the matter noted that in 2016, there were 10 out of the 538 presidential electors who either voted or attempted to vote for candidates other than the candidates of their party.

“A swing by that same number of electors would have changed the results in five of fifty-eight prior presidential elections,” the individuals from Washington argued in court papers. “And as the demographics of the United States indicate that contests will become even closer, there is a significant probability that such swings could force this Court to resolve the question of electoral freedom within the context of an ongoing contest.”

Nearly 30 states have laws requiring their presidential electors to vote for the president and vice president picked from the voters in their state.

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