OLYMPIA, Wash. - Washington's 12 electors met Monday afternoon in the state capitol to complete the formality of electoral voting. In an act of symbolic protest, four of the electors changed their votes from what they originally cast in November.
The last time an elector broke from the popular vote in Washington was in 1976. That elector was Mike Padden, who is currently a Republican State Senator from Spokane Valley. He voted for Ronald Reagan instead of Gerald Ford who had won the state that year.
In Washington state Monday, four electors voted differently than they did in the November election, going against the state's popular vote for president, Hillary Clinton.
But the electors who voted against the grain today did not change their votes for Hillary Clinton in order to cast votes for Donald Trump.
Three voted for former Secretary of State Colin Powell, and one voted for Faith Spotted Eagle, a native american elder from South Dakota.
Under state law, each of these electors can be fined $1,000 for not voting for the candidate who won the state.
State Senator Mike Padden said he does not agree with the thousand dollar fine--a law that went into place after he voted against the popular candidate forty years ago. He notes that the four electors actions does not impact the outcome anyway.
About his decision to be a 'faithless elector' forty years ago, Padden said, “I used my best judgment. It wasn't an automatic thing and I was able to make a point without impacting the election. In fact, any of the electors who voted for the person who didn't carry the state, as far as I know never impacted the election."
Across the country, six faithless electors voted for other candidates, costing Trump two votes and Clinton four.
However, Trump still received 304 electoral votes to Clinton's 224.
This is the first US presidential election since 1872 with more than one faithless elector.
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