Tuesday, December 27, 2016

What To Tell Your Congressman

"Dear (your congressman's name):

I am a concerned citizen who is outraged and afraid that rogue electors have the ability to change the will of the people by voting their "conscience" when that is neither constitutional nor common sense.

This anarchy needs to be nipped in the bud, even though President Trump wins easily, and even if Texas and other States are going to legislate against such chaos next time.

I understand the House can overturn rogue elector votes with a protest from one House member and one Senator. Please bring this to the attention of your peers and the parliamentarian.

Thank you, and I appreciate the work you are doing for the district!

Yours sincerely,
(your name)"

Restore the People’s vote!
by Tom Wise and Rose Taylor
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No one can deny that the 2016 election will be talked about for years to come. This is the first election I can remember, in my lifetime, to have caused such enormous emotional reactions – from both sides – centering on bitter arguments, clear scandal, and baseless claims.
Since Donald Trump was named our President-Elect on November 8, one of the most-talked-about topics has been the Electoral College. The Electoral College has been in place from the formation of our Constitution. In fact, the Electoral College elected our very first President, George Washington. While there have been some adjustments to the process over the years by Amendments to the Constitution, the Electoral College has stayed true to its original purpose.
Every Presidential election, the electors meet to cast their ballots for the candidates for President and Vice-President of the United States. Most people pay little or no attention to this process. In fact, most people are not aware how our election process actually even works. But in 2016, the attention paid to the Electoral College, and the electors that represent the votes for their states, increased exponentially.
Troublingly, there was a call for the electors to be ‘faithless electors,’ which means to not vote for the candidate chosen in their respective States. This rebellion against the rule of law reached a crescendo in 2016, when 4 electors did not vote the will of the people in Democrat-won Washington, and 2 electors did not vote the will of the people in GOP-won Texas, of all places. Although we might think this handful of ‘faithless’ electors did not CAUSE damage to the 2016 election, or to our election process in general, these rogue votes are in fact a THREAT to our electoral process and the peaceful transfer of power. To understand why this is, first we need to review a little history behind the creation of the Electoral College.
The Electoral College was formed in 1787 at the Constitutional Convention. Several different methods were considered to elect the President of the United States, including direct popular vote and Congressional selection. “The formation of the Electoral College sought to provide popular participation, give smaller states a voice, keep the Presidency and Congress independent of each other, and protect the election process from political manipulation.” (ref: http://www.history.com/topics/electoral-college)
Some say a “national popular vote” is the fairest and most “democratic” way to elect our President. This is not even remotely true. A direct popular vote would hand our Presidential selection over to a few densely-populated counties in two or three States. Those areas would always be able to swing an election, and candidates would only have to focus their efforts in those counties. This is the beauty of the Electoral College. The United States of America is NOT a true democracy, nor were we ever intended to be one. We are collective Federal Republic of States with a common purpose and contract called the Constitution. The Constitution of these United STATES gives the power to the States, NOT to the Federal Government. The system of using electoral votes to elect the president as opposed to a popular vote thus ensures that the each State has equal representation.
And so it is that the Electoral College has served its purpose for over 200 years, and worked as intended.
The Constitution does not provide specific rules governing the electors’ responsibility to vote for, or choice to not vote for, the candidate selected by each State’s popular vote. That responsibility is left up to the States. This is important to understand. Whatever is not specifically in the Constitution is left to the States (Amendments 9 & 10). Thus, the 12th and 20th Amendments, which describe the duty of the electors only in vague terms, require further and final binding under State laws and constitutions.
Currently, there are 29 states, plus the District of Columbia, that have State laws binding the electors to vote for the candidate who wins the statewide popular vote. This means there are 21 States that technically have no legal control over how their electors vote. After the 2016 election, many sore Democrats, Republicans, Green Party, and even foreigners, began to clamor that the electors had the right to vote their “conscience.” However, because “conscience” is not in the US Constitution, the States have the right to bind electors to vote the will of the people.
The problem is, 21 States do not have such laws on their books. Why?
Mostly, the States have been complacent to believe that no amount of dissent in America would ever force or move electors to vote against the will of the people.
But it should be understood, when an elector casts a “rogue” vote, against the will of the people, they are NOT exercising a constitutionally-provided right. Rather, they are using a LOOPHOLE formed by the lack of specification in the US Constitution combined with lack of specific State law binding their electors. For example, in North Carolina, State Law provides that any elector who does not vote the will of the people is immediately invalidated and that rogue is replaced with the proper vote, indicating that electors are meant to be mere representatives of the people and not a “conscience” of the country.
The peaceful transfer of power has always been a defining characteristic of our country. When a “faithless elector” casts a vote for someone other than the candidate who won the statewide popular vote, they are endangering that process. Anarchy and chaos is the rule if electors can do as they like. Our founding fathers, when they created the Constitution and enacted the Electoral College, never intended for 538 people to have sovereign control over choosing the President. THINK ABOUT IT: If the electors are free to vote for whomever their “conscience” tells them to, what is stopping them from each casting a vote for a different person? What is to stop them from casting a vote for, say, Donald Duck? As ridiculous as that sounds, it is entirely possible given the existing loopholes. Therefore, an unregulated vote of the electors is not a vote of “conscience” but of LICENSE. And such license, as should be obvious, is dangerous.
The Electoral College met this year on December 19, 2016. According to the votes cast by the will of the people, Donald J. Trump should have been awarded 306 electoral votes and Hillary R. Clinton should have been awarded 232 electoral votes. However, there were several electors who decided that, for their own personal reasons, they knew better who should be the next President. There were six “faithless electors” who cast ballots, 1 for John Kasich, 1 for Ron Paul, 3 for Colin Powell and 1 for Faith Spotted Eagle. To illustrate how dangerous such rogue electors are, Ron Paul and Colin Powell did not run for President, not even at the primary level!  A few further electors in States that Clinton won tried to cast ballots for someone other than Clinton, but state laws properly overrode their votes, causing them to be thrown out and replaced with a different elector or with the proper vote. Although none of these rogue votes altered the ultimate outcome of the 2016 election, they did showcase several things which need to change.
First, those rogue elector votes cast in 2016 need to be returned back to the will of the people. How?
Luckily, our founding fathers had the foresight to add another layer to the electoral process. When the electors cast their ballots for President and Vice-President, their ballots are sealed and sent to the House of Representatives and Senate. The House and Senate will assemble on January 6th 2017 to open the ballots and confirm the votes. The sealed votes are opened by State, in alphabetical order, and the votes are read out loud and recorded. Once all ballots have been opened and recorded, the president of the House then calls for objections. All objections must be submitted in writing and signed by at least one member of the House and one member of the Senate. The House and the Senate would then convene to their respective chambers to consider the merits of any objections given, in accordance with 3 U.S.C. section 15.
WE SHOULD THEREFORE petition members of Congress to stand up and object to the rogue electoral votes cast in Washington State and in Texas. The rogue electoral votes cast by those “faithless electors” need to be overturned, and restored to the people’s vote. On January 6, 2017, when the electors’ ballots are opened and counted, all 6 rogue votes (both for President-Elect Donald J. Trump and for Hillary R. Clinton) can and should be objected to and thrown out.
~ #RestoreThePeoplesVote ~
We will provide you with the Twitter feeds, phone numbers, and emails of your specific Representative and Senator. Will they listen to you? YES! Tom contacted his representative in North Carolina, Mark Meadows, who told Tom he would check with the parliamentarian in the House to take such action. This was done on a personal level, so it could happen! But one congressman is not enough! We need EVERY congressman and Senator contacted and given the opportunity to defend and stand up for the will of the people. After all, if they are so concerned that Putin possibly hacked even ONE vote at the ballot box, why should they not be thousands of times more concerned if a rogue elector steals hundreds of thousands of votes in Texas?
You may be thinking- “Hey, it’s just a few votes, it didn’t change anything, why does it matter?” It matters because this sets the precedent for future elections. It may “only” be 6 “faithless electors” this time, but next time there may be enough rogue electoral votes to overrule the will of the people and change the results of an election. If that happens, a revolt very well could follow, resulting in the end of the “peaceful transfer of power” and even the republic as we know it. We believe it is of UTMOST importance that we put forth our best effort to #RestoreThePeoplesVote. Together we can do this! Remember, United We Stand, Divided We Fall. Let us not EVER have to tolerate a Chris Suprun again!
It is a BIG DEAL. Why do we vote if rogue electors can nullify? Do we shrug it off? No! Not when we have the power to demand change!
Second, the 21 states that currently do not have laws in place binding their electors to uphold the will of the people in their state need to address these loopholes. Electors should not hold the power to override the people. Not to mention, these electors are not always properly vetted and could easily be targeted and influenced. Power needs to remain in the hands of the people as established by our founding fathers and COMMON SENSE.
~ #RestoreThePeoplesVote ~
1.       We the People demand that Congress RESTORE THE PEOPLE’S VOTE.
2.      Restore the vote to reflect the will of the people, not a few electors acting AGAINST the will of people.
3.      We the People demand the States which have not sewn up the constitutional loopholes regarding electors pass legislation to do so.
4.      Protect the votes of the citizens of the States.

Further 11-minute speech from Tom Wise, one of our main organizers:
http://tayloredthoughts.com/category/politics/ (bottom of that page)

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