Unbelieving voters: what they are and why they don’t matter this year


Joe Biden’s significant victory rate, the establishment of the Electoral College, and the recent ruling of the Supreme Court all make it impossible for unbelieving voters to play a meaningful role in this year’s election. You need to know the following:

Through the Electoral College system, each state receives a certain number of voters based on how many representatives it has in Congress. Those people gave official votes to the president.

Historically, voters have overwhelmingly voted for the candidate who wins the referendum in his state – but they can get lost. If they do, they are called disobedient believers.

How common are they?

Unbelieving voters are extremely rare in their planning. Voters are chosen because of their loyalty to their party. Basically, they are partisans.

As a result, defectors are not placed too often.

In the last presidential election, 10 of the 538 presidential voters became fraudulent. But you have to go back until 1796 to find an example of a voter casting his vote for the active opponent of their promised voters.

As election law expert and CNN contributor Rick Hasen put it, “You will not get the country’s most enthusiastic Biden supporters to vote for Trump, nor will the country’s most enthusiastic Trump supporters vote for Biden.”

Have unbelieving voters ever swung?

It never happened, although there are previous examples where, in theory, unbelieving voters could have changed the outcome of the election.

For example, it would have taken only two Republican voters to vote for George W. Bush in 2000 to change the outcome. A total of 271 votes would have slipped to 269 and the election would have been before the House.

But remember: the margin is much higher this year. Biden received 306 voter votes in the election, Trump received 232. That means Republicans would need a huge number of unbelieving voters for Trump to prevail.

Is it still legal to be an unbelieving voter?

It depends on where you live.

This presidential election is the first to take place after the Supreme Court ruled in the summer that states could punish disbelieving voters who break the promise to vote for the state referendum in the presidential election.

“Today we are examining whether the state can punish a voter for breaking his promise and voting for someone other than the state candidate who won the referendum on his state. We believe a state can do that,” Justice Judge Elena Kagan wrote.

“Both the text of the Constitution and the history of the Nation support the state’s ability to deliver on the promise of voters to support its party’s candidate – and the election of state voters – on the president,” he added.

In all, 32 states and the District of Columbia have laws designed to deter disbelieving voters. But until 2016, no state punished or removed voters for its vote.

Three presidential voters in Washington State, for example, voted for Colin Powell in 2016 instead of Hillary Clinton, and one voted for the protest against the Keystone XL pipeline, the Faith Spotted Eagle. A $ 1,000 fine was approved by the state Supreme Court.

The U.S. constitution, ruled by the court, “empowers states to direct the manner and manner in which electors are appointed to the Electoral College.”

Bottom line

Like so many scenarios circulated by the president’s allies in the wake of his electoral loss, the notion that unbelieving voters hold power is not based on reality either.

“Voters were chosen to ensure their political loyalty,” Hasen told CNN.

“Right now, we have every expectation that Biden will get about 306 electoral college votes. Trump would get 232 electoral college votes.”