Christopher Suprun, a Republican member of the Electoral College in Texas, has promised not to cast his vote for Donald Trump despite his state handedly voting for the president-elect.
Mr. Suprun explained his reasoning in an op-ed for the New York Times released yesterday.
“The election of the next president is not yet a done deal. Electors of conscience can still do the right thing for the good of the country. Presidential electors have the legal right and a constitutional duty to vote their conscience. I believe electors should unify behind a Republican alternative, an honorable and qualified man or woman such as Gov. John Kasich of Ohio. I pray my fellow electors will do their job and join with me in discovering who that person should be.”
Before reaching this conclusion, Suprun listed several things that he has issue with Trump on: claiming he lacks foreign policy experience, incites violence at his rallies, picked a flawed candidate in Gen. Michael Flynn for national security advisor, and believes he will face ethics issues in office due to his business ties.
If Suprun follows through on his promise on December 19, he will be the first “faithless elector” since 2004.
Besides him, there is a sizable group of electors who plan to vote for Ohio Gov. Kasich. However, these “Hamilton electors" are apparently mostly members who are supposed to be voting for Clinton anyways. They come from Washington State and Colorado. I am not too sure how this is supposed to make sense, but this is their plan and they are actively trying to pick up members such as Suprun who are designated to vote for Trump.
It goes without saying this sets a terrible precedent for American democracy. Only a small group of electors appear to be taking part in this disregard for the election process, but what about the next presidential election? Could this act set in motion a future where large swaths of “faithless electors” become a regularity and put our Electoral College in complete disarray?
Perhaps Suprun and others should resign like one elector did if they can’t do their job.