Electoral college: Republican elector refusing to vote for Donald Trump says others will join him

Christopher Suprun says he was a Trump supporter but became disillusioned over the President-elect's claims about illegal voters

Caroline Mortimer@cjmortimer
Friday 09 December 2016 15:28
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Donald Trump won the Electoral College but lost the popular vote
Donald Trump won the Electoral College but lost the popular vote

A rogue Electoral College voter who has vowed not to vote for Donald Trump claims more electors are likely to join him.

Christopher Suprun, a Republican from Texas, has vowed to vote for someone else when the Electoral College makes its decision on who will be the next US President on 19 December.

He said he had been a Trump supporter during the campaign but started to have doubts a few weeks ago when the former reality star started making claims about millions of illegal votes in the election.

Mr Trump insisted he had only lost the popular vote because three million “illegals” had voted for his rival Hillary Clinton.

Ms Clinton has currently won more than 2.7 million votes more than Mr Trump and no evidence of significant voter fraud has come to light.

Mr Suprun told ABC News’ Powerhouse Politics podcast: "I think he [Trump] is the only candidate I am aware of who ever asked a foreign country to hack his political opponent’s email account to find out what is in them, which I consider almost an invitation to espionage.

“We know he has been a demagogue. He has not attempted to unite the country. Even when Time magazine made him their Person Of The Year, they called him 'President of the Divided States of America'. And, finally, most objectively, he seems to have financial conflicts of interest which he won’t resolve.”

Mr Suprun declined to give details but claimed there were other electors “who have reached out to him” and said he was “confident” that he wouldn’t be “the only one voting for someone other than Donald Trump who is carrying a Republican elector seat”.

It comes after two electors from Democrat states, Michael Baca of Colorado and Bret Chiafalo of Washington state, set up the Hamilton Electors, a campaign to convince others to go against their state’s wishes.

The group said Alexander Hamilton, a Founding Father of the US, had proclaimed that the Electoral College was designed so “the office of President will never fall to the lot of any man who is not in an eminent degree endowed with the requisite qualifications”.

So, they believe, electors have a constitutional duty to block Mr Trump’s path to the White House.

American elections are not determined solely by the number of votes cast. The Electoral College is made up of 538 voters, distributed between the states according to population size and allocated based on how each state voted.

The system is designed to give sparsely populated states, such as Alaska, more of a say in deciding who becomes president and to avoid one region becoming overly dominant.

Some states have pledge laws which allow them to prosecute electors who do not vote in accordance with the state-wide result, who are known as "faithless electors", but Mr Suprun is not facing this threat as Texas is not one of them.

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