As the nation continues to scratch its head at how Hillary Clinton could win the 2016 presidential election by millions of votes, only to have the Electoral College tally handing to victory to Donald Trump instead, it’s brought sudden national attention on the five hundred and thirty-eight “Electors” who in any other year might have been irrelevant. One of those Electoral College members is named Robert Nemanich. And twelve days after the election, he’s saying that the outcome of this election is still “in play.”
Nemanich himself is an Electoral College member from the state of Colorado who has been directed by his state to cast his vote for Hillary Clinton, who won the popular vote in the state. While he’s planning to keep his vote intact for Clinton, he’s making the case that his fellow Electors from other states who are supposed to vote for Donald Trump are actually under no Constitutional obligation to do so, regardless of any never-tested laws that have been passed in various states.
He also points out that many or even most of his fellow Electoral College members are “political science and presidential history university scholars, law school professors, political professionals, elected and government officials” who are in an ideal position to determine the legality of their own potential decisions to switch their votes away from Donald Trump if they so choose.
Nemanich has even gone so far as to contact the government of his own state of Colorado to ask what would hypothetically happen to him if he were to change his own vote, even though he has no intention of abandoning Hillary Clinton. Although the Colorado Secretary of State responded with the position that any such “faithless elector” would be removed, he did admit that “this event does not have precedent in Colorado” and that he would have to seek the State Attorney General’s office for legal guidance.
In other words, Robert Nemanich is onto something with his extensive legal argument that he and his fellow Electoral College members have at least some legal standing for collectively choosing whomever they want a President. If he’s right, then as he says, the outcome of the election is indeed still in play.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report