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The Supreme Court said Friday it will decide ahead of the 2020 election whether presidential electors are bound to support the popular vote winner in their states or can opt for someone else.
Advocates for the court's intervention say the issue needs urgent resolution in an era of intense political polarization and the prospect of a razor-thin margin in a presidential election, although so-called faithless electors have been a footnote so far in American history.
Justices - Arguments - April - Decision - June
The justices will hear arguments in April and should issue a decision by late June.
About 30 states require presidential electors to vote for the popular vote winner, and electors almost always do so anyway.
Electoral - College - System - Constitution - Voters
The Electoral College system is established in the Constitution. When voters cast a ballot for president, they are actually choosing members of the Electoral College, called electors, who are pledged to that presidential candidate. The electors then choose the president. It takes 270 votes to win.
The elector at the center of the case, Micheal Baca, was part of a group known as 'Hamilton electors' who tried to convince electors who were pledged to Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump to unite behind a consensus candidate to deny Trump the presidency.
Calls - Electors - Campaigners - College - Vote
Calls for electors to go 'faithless' were made also made by anti-Trump campaigners who wanted the college to reflect the popular vote, which would have given Clinton a clear victory.
Almost five million people signed a petition calling on the electoral college to used their apparent right to be 'faithless' and put Clinton in the White House.
Flurry - Filings - State - Courts - Electors
After a flurry of filings in state and federal courts, the electors met on Dec. 19, 2016, and Baca crossed out Clinton's name on his ballot and wrote in John Kasich, the Republican governor of Ohio who also ran for president.
Then-Secretary of State...
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