Opinion: Why the Supreme Court Decision to Allow States to Punish “Faithless Electors” is a Huge Win
On Monday, June 6th, the Supreme Court handled a case that determined whether or not states could punish faithless electors in a presidential election. In the electoral college, a faithless elector refers to an elector appointed by the state who votes against the wishes of the state’s general electorate. In the 2016 election, there were seven validated faithless electors; five Democrats and two Republicans. The Supreme Court unanimously (9-0) decided that states may punish these faithless electors.
In many ways, this decision could come to be agreed upon by both Republicans and Democrats alike. The electoral college has often been criticized for allowing these faithless electors to go unpunished. Aside from fifteen states voiding electoral votes and imposing electoral replacements, states have been unable to ensure that each state’s popular vote is intact.
On the surface, some may be skeptical of the decision and come to believe that the Supreme Court is allowing states to force their electors to vote a certain way and that the Supreme Court is giving too much power to the states. However, this is extremely incorrect and certainly not the case. Faithless electors go against the popular vote of the state – a significant stain on our democracy. From this court ruling, the popular vote of each state will now determine the elector's decision. In previous years, there has been controversy and doubt that the American vote even matters.
As a writer who holds many conservative beliefs and an advocate for the electoral college, I firmly believe that this decision will uphold the integrity of this system. This decision is a huge win for democracy. Faithless electors hold no place in American elections and should always be punished for going against the people. Faithless electors are corrupt representatives, who don’t even represent the American people and just seek to further advance their own political agenda. This was evident in the 2016 election with seven faithless electors voting against their state’s wills. The 5 Democrats all voted for female vice president candidates while voting for failed democratic candidates for president. The same goes for the Republican party; however, one faithless elector kept Pence as their vote for Vice President, which demonstrates the bias against President Trump and the “Never-Trumper” movement back in 2016.
In essence, this decision will prevent corrupt representatives from exercising their own political biases and unfairly influencing Presidential Elections. This will definitely change how the electoral college will look during the 2020 election when it hopefully ensures that electors vote with the popular vote of their state. Whether it is large fines or jail time, I find that the electoral college’s integrity will be stabilized and ultimately become more popular in the coming years. The system undoubtedly prevents mob rule that comes out of a direct democracy system and balances the scales between parties and state populations.
In conclusion, this Supreme Court decision will change the landscape of the 2020 election and remove any doubt from the people’s minds that their vote will not matter.