Bill Aimed At Preventing "Faithless" Presidential Electors

Mar 27, 2017

A Senate committee approved legislation to ensure Indiana’s presidential electors don’t go rogue.

When Indiana’s presidential electors cast their ballots, there’s nothing in state law that requires them to vote for the candidate Indiana voters chose in the election. Rep. Kathy Richardson’s (R-Noblesville) legislation would change that.

“It requires the electors to take a pledge to the party that nominated them. I found out after this last presidential [election] a lot of people already assumed that was the way it was,” Richardson says.

There are 21 states that have laws in place to help ensure electors vote according to their state’s election result. Some use the threat of fines, which Republican attorney Jim Bopp says hasn’t worked. He says Indiana’s proposed legislation uses a better method.

“It is deemed that there is a vacancy if an elector attempts to cast a vote contrary to the pledge … the alternate under the procedures fills that vacancy and the alternate casts the vote in accordance with the pledge,” Bopp says.

Indiana has never had an elector go against the state’s election results.