Keeping the Faith: How the Fourteenth Amendment Should Protect Against Faithless Electors
Every four years, citizens across the United States vote for a presidential candidate. However, those citizens are actually voting for electors who then vote for the president in the Electoral College on the citizens’ behalf. Electors become faithless when they do not vote for the candidate that they were pledged to vote for. In Chiafalo v. Washington, the Supreme Court upheld the validity of states enacting strict faithless elector laws that require electors to vote for the candidates they were pledged to vote for and impose penalties on electors who fail to do so. Yet many states have failed to enact such laws altogether or have enacted laws that are not strict enough to truly prevent faithless electors. This paper will argue that the states’ failure to enact sufficiently strict faithless elector laws is unconstitutional under the Fourteenth Amendment Equal Protection Clause because electors can subvert the will of the voters in their state, thus, those citizens’ votes count less than other citizens’ votes. It is also blatantly unfair, as there is inherent inequality in the idea that faithless electors can control the outcome of elections, against the will of most Americans. And faithless electors could have disastrous consequences for our democracy by causing voters to lack confidence in the power of their votes.
Cranmer, Jennifer A.
"Keeping the Faith: How the Fourteenth Amendment Should Protect Against Faithless Electors,"
Akron Law Review: Vol. 56:
1, Article 3.
Available at: https://ideaexchange.uakron.edu/akronlawreview/vol56/iss1/3