Speed Reads

Electoral College

The Washington state electors who didn't vote for Hillary Clinton will have to pay up

Four Washington state members of the Electoral College did not vote for Hillary Clinton after having promised to do so, and a judge on Wednesday ruled that Washington Secretary of State Kim Wyman is allowed to levy a $1,000 fine on each elector in accordance with state law. Being a faithless elector is not a criminal offense in Washington, but since the 1970s faithless electors can be fined.

Three of the electors voted for former Secretary of State Colin Powell, while one voted for a Native American leader. All four previously signed a pledge to vote for Clinton if she won Washington's Electoral College votes, which she did with 57 percent of the popular vote. The electors became faithless in a futile effort to prevent Donald Trump from becoming president.

The three electors who backed Powell intend to appeal the judge's decision on constitutional grounds. They have argued "the Constitution doesn’t give the state power to punish electors for contrary votes."