State electors make last bid to prevent Trump presidency
December 14, 2016
DENVER — Two Colorado electors made a last-ditch effort Tuesday to revive their longshot attempt to deny Donald Trump the presidency, appealing a federal judge's ruling that they must vote for the presidential ticket that won their state's popular vote.
A lawyer for electors Polly Baca and Robert Nemanich filed the appeal to the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals a day after U.S. District Court Wiley Daniel agreed with attorneys representing Colorado and Trump that the electors are required by state law to vote for Hillary Clinton, who won Colorado on Nov. 8.
The two Democrat electors want to vote instead for a Republican besides Trump in hopes of cutting a deal with enough electors to put someone other than the former reality show star in the White House. But Daniel's ruling makes that highly unlikely since 28 other states have similar laws binding their electors to winners of their popular vote.
It's unclear whether the appeals court will hear the case before the electors are required to vote on Dec. 19. There are similar lawsuits in California and Washington seeking to overturn state laws binding electors.
The Colorado electors could face up to one year in jail and a $1,000 fine if they defy Colorado law and vote for someone other than Clinton.
On Tuesday afternoon, Colorado's Republican Secretary of State is scheduled to ask a state judge to advise his office on possible penalties in the event that the electors rebel. Williams has been highly critical of the plan, contending it undermines democracy.
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Trump won 306 electors last month, well over the 270 needed to put him in the White House.