A Washington state administrative judge on Wednesday upheld $1,000 fines for three presidential electors who broke their pledges to vote for Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton in December.
So-called “Faithless Electors” are members of the Electoral College who, for whatever reason, do not vote for their party’s designated candidate. But none had ever been fined before in state history even though the law providing for the fine was established in 1976.
Judge Robert Krabill of Tacoma said Washington’s secretary of State was within her rights to slap $1,000 fines against three rogue electors – Levi Guerra, Esther John and Peter “Bret” Chiafolo, Democratic electors who voted for former Secretary of State Colin Powell over Clinton in the presidential election, the Hill reports.
The law was passed after Mike Padden, now a Republican member of the state legislature, voted for Ronald Reagan over Gerald Ford in 1976.
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Sumeer Singla, an attorney for plaintiffs Levi Guerra, Esther John and Peter Chiafolo, said Wednesday they were reviewing the order and anticipate appealing it.
Clinton lost four electors in the December Electoral College vote in Olympia — three voted for former Secretary of State Colin Powell and one voted for Native American tribal leader Faith Spotted Eagle.
The fourth voter has also appealed the fine and has a court hearing scheduled for next week, said Peter Lavallee, spokesman for the state attorney general’s office.
The last time an elector broke from the popular vote in the state was in 1976, when Mike Padden of Spokane Valley, who is currently a Republican state senator, voted for Ronald Reagan in 1976 instead of Gerald Ford, who had won the state.