Washington Presidential Electors Must Now Follow Their Party (Or Lose Their Seat)

TOP PHOTO: Washington state presidential elector Levi Guerra, center, joined by fellow elector P. Bret Chiafalo , right, announced in 2016 that they’d ask fellow members of the Electoral College to pick a Republican “consensus candidate” rather than Donald Trump. CREDIT: STEVE BLOOM/THE OLYMPIAN via AP

People who represent Washington state in the electoral college are now required to vote for their party’s presidential nominee.

Gov. Jay Inslee signed a bill into law Friday that tightens the rules on presidential electors.

In the bill signing, he reiterated its purpose: “It disqualifies presidential electors who do not vote for their party’s presidential and vice presidential nominees.”

Now electors must vote for whichever candidate wins the state’s primary race in March. Otherwise, they will be replaced.

Each party must pick 12 electors and 12 alternates, in case of replacement. Washington has 12 electoral votes in the Electoral College, of 538 electors nationwide.

In 2016, four Washington electors went against their party’s nominee (Hillary Clinton), and faced fines because of it.

Lawmakers against the measure said faithless electors should be handled by the political parties who appoint them, instead of the Legislature.

Copyright 2019 KUOW

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