WASHINGTON ― Several electors bucked their states on Monday by opting to cast their presidential ballots for someone other than Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton.
Members of the Electoral College met in their respective state Capitols to vote for the presidential and vice presidential candidates for whom they had pledged to vote earlier this year. Many electors, however, are not legally bound to vote for a specified candidate. Some electors ― known as “faithless electors” ― have in the past voted against their political party or abstained from voting altogether.
Maine Democratic elector David Bright chose to cast his ballot for Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), who lost to Clinton in the Democratic presidential primary.
“I cast my vote for Bernie Sanders not out of spite, or malice, or anger, or as an act of civil disobedience,” Bright said in a statement. “I mean no disrespect to our nominee. I cast my vote to represent thousands of Democratic Maine voters ― many less than a third my age ― who came into Maine politics for the first time this year because of Bernie Sanders.”
Maine is one of 29 states plus the District of Columbia that require its electors to cast their ballots for the person the elector is tied to ― in this case Clinton. Bright could face a fine for his actions, but no elector has been penalized in the past.
Chris Suprun, a Republican elector from Texas, said he would vote for Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R). In an op-ed earlier this month in The New York Times, Suprun said the president-elect “shows daily he is not qualified for office” and called on fellow electors to “do their job” and unify around an “honorable and qualified” alternative.