Millionaire gadfly filmmaker and author Michael Moore offered to assist Republican electors serving in the Electoral College to violate their pledge to vote for Donald Trump, which he described as an “‘illegal’” act. He has offered to pay a fine for violating the pledge, if their state imposes a fine for such a violation.
 
Writing on his Facebook page, the famous Michigander declared, "Some states have made it 'illegal' for you to vote any other way than for Trump. If you don't vote for him, your state will fine you ... So here's my offer to you: I obviously can't and won't give you money to vote tomorrow, but if you do vote your conscience and you are punished for it, I will personally step up pay your fine which is my legal right to do."
 
Joining other liberals and progressives, Moore told Republican electors, "I am writing you not as a card-carrying Democrat (I'm not) who voted for Hillary (I did), but simply because I am an American who, like you, deeply loves this country and its people ... I am not going to ask you to vote for the person who got the most votes (although I will not be upset should you chose to side with the majority of your fellow Americans and do so!). No, I'm simply asking you to vote your conscience and PLEASE do not put our nation in danger by choosing Donald J. Trump."
 
The 538 members of the Electoral College will meet in their respective state capitols to elect the president and vice-president. Experts agree that Trump will probably receive the 270 electoral votes he needs to claim victory. Very few electors are expected to be “faithless”: meaning that they would vote for someone other than the person for whom they have pledged. 
 
The National Conference of State Legislatures states on its website that some states have laws on the books that require electors to vote for the person for whom they have pledged. “These laws may either impose a fine on an elector who fails to vote according to the statewide or district popular vote, or may disqualify an elector who violates his or her pledge and provide a replacement elector." So far, no elector has ever been penalized or replaced. However, the laws have not met with a court challenge yet. Currently, there are 30 states with laws that bind the votes of presidential electors.


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Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat and the editor of Spero News.

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