Colorado’s presidential electors do not have to vote for the candidate who wins the state’s popular vote, the powerful 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver ruled Tuesday evening, a decision that could have major ramifications for future elections.
A three-judge panel on the federal appellate court ruled 2-1 against the Colorado Secretary of State’s Office in a case dating back to the 2016 presidential election, when three of the state’s nine presidential electors — the state’s Electoral College voice — tried to vote for candidates other than Democrat Hillary Clinton, who won handily in the state.
Then-Secretary of State Wayne Williams ordered them to cast their votes for Clinton or be replaced. One of the electors, Micheal Baca, refused and tried to back Ohio’s then-Gov. John Kasich, a Republican, as part of a national attempt by electors to block Donald Trump’s presidency.
Baca, termed a “faithless elector,” was removed and replaced with another elector who voted for Clinton. The two other electors who also wanted to vote for Kasich — Polly Baca (unrelated to Micheal) and Robert Nemanich — opted to vote for Clinton instead of being replaced.
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