Only seven members of the Electoral College proved “faithless” to their pledged presidential candidates today, and four of them are in Washington state. The tally in Olympia was eight for Democrat Hillary Clinton, who won the state – plus three for retired Gen. Colin Powell and one for Native American activist Faith Spotted Eagle.
One of the four, Bret Chiafalo, was a leader in the “Hamilton Electors” movement, which sought to derail President-elect Donald Trump’s move to the White House by denying him the 270 electoral votes required for a win.
If the Hamilton Electors had swayed 37 of the electors pledged to the GOP candidate, the presidential election would have been gone to the House, to be decided in an arcane procedure that hasn’t been used since 1824.
In the end, just two Trump electors were swayed. Texas elector Chris Suprun had been saying for weeks that he’d vote for Republican Ohio Gov. John Kasich when given the chance. In an op-ed published today by The Hill, Suprun said he was “gravely concerned” about claims that Russian President Vladimir Putin helped Trump win.
Thirty-six of Texas’ electoral votes went to Trump. One vote went to Kasich, and another went to Ron Paul, a libertarian Republican from Texas.
Texas’ vote put Trump over the top in the Electoral College, formalizing his presidential victory with 304 electoral votes.
Later today, an elector who was pledged to Clinton in Hawaii voted instead for independent-minded Democrat Bernie Sanders.