President-Elect Donald Trump has reached the 270 votes in the Electoral College that he needs to win, based on unofficial results released by state officials, local news, and electors. But did any electors ultimately turn faithless and flip their vote? A big push has been going on for the last month, since the November election, with thousands of people writing electors and trying to convince them to flip. In fact, there was even a push from a group called The Hamilton Electors, where they sought to flip Clinton electors to a compromise Republican candidate and, thus, convince some Republican electors to do the same.
But despite the huge push, most electors remained true to their state’s results. So far, more went faithless against Clinton than against Trump. Five flipped on Clinton (with three additional attempting to do so) and two flipped on Trump (with one additional resigning rather than voting for him.)
The total of seven protest votes was the most in the electoral college since 1796, for presidential candidates:
(In 1836, all 23 electors in Virginia opted to be faithless for the vice presidential election.) They were pledged to vote for Martin Van Buren and his running mate, Richard Mentor Johnson. But instead, they all refused to vote for Johnson. The Senate decided the election and ended up choosing Johnson anyway.)
The people who received electoral votes besides Trump and Clinton were:
- Colin Powell (3 votes)
- Faith Spotted Eagle (1 vote)
- John Kasich (1 vote)
- Ron Paul (1 vote)
- Bernie Sanders (1 vote)
Here are the faithless electors that we know about so far.
Maine Had One Attempted Faithless Elector: From Clinton to Bernie
David Bright in Maine flipped from voting for Hillary Clinton to voting for Bernie Sanders. But he was essentially forced to recast his vote for Hillary Clinton after the initial vote, which included his vote for Bernie, was ruled out of order because he didn’t vote according to Maine’s rules. Whether he could have kept trying to vote for Bernie and faced a fine isn’t known until he speaks publicly again about the vote.
Minnesota Had One Attempted Faithless Elector: From Clinton to Bernie
Muhammad Abdurrahman, a Minnesota elector, refused to vote for Clinton. He was a delegate for Bernie Sanders and had attempted to cast a vote for Sanders as President and Tulsi Gabbard as Vice President. His vote was declared invalid and he was immediately replaced by an alternate.
Washington Had Four Faithless Electors Flipping Away from Clinton
Although Clinton won all of Washington state and should have gotten all 12 votes, four flipped and did not vote for her. Three votes were cast for Colin Powell and one vote was cast for Faith Spotted Eagle.
Two Republican Electors in Texas Did Not Vote for Trump
So far, the only faithless electors flipping away from Trump are in Texas. One elector, Sisneros, resigned rather than vote for Trump and he was replaced. Three other electors also resigned, but they stated it was because they found out they were ineligible. Meanwhile, two electors went faithless and did not vote for Trump. One voted for John Kasich (Chris Suprun, who had said he would do so before) and one voted for Ron Paul. The name of the elector who voted for Paul wasn’t immediately known. Later, Sean Walsh of the Statesman reported that the vote came from Bill Greene of CD 34.
One Democratic Elector in Colorado Attempted to Flip Away from Clinton for Kasich
One Democratic elector tried to go along with the Hamilton Elector plan and vote for a Republican compromise candidate rather than Clinton. Micheal Baca of Denver was sworn in and then promptly filled out a ballot for John Kasich rather than Clinton, Mercury News reported. He wore a shirt in support of Bernie Sanders with the slogan “Enough is Enough.” You can see video of the moment, shared on Facebook, below. Jump ahead to 15:00 to see the relevant part of the video:
He was removed and alternate Celeste Landry of Boulder was put in his place. She cast a ballot for Clinton.
One Democrat Elector in Hawaii Flipped Away from Clinton and Voted for Bernie
Finally, one Democrat elector put in a vote for Bernie Sanders instead of Hillary Clinton. Unlike the electors who tried to do this in Maine and Minnesota, this elector’s vote wasn’t thwarted.
So far, most of the flipped and attempted-to-flip electors were Democratic electors choosing not to vote for Clinton, rather than Republican electors choosing not to vote for Trump. We’ll update this story as more information is available.