By DEVIN DWYER, ABC News
(WASHINGTON) — A unanimous Supreme Court ruled Monday that states can require their presidential electors to support the candidate chosen by a majority of voters and punish those who go rogue.
The decision, just five months before the presidential election, reduces the chance of Electoral College chaos in the event of a close outcome and possibility some members may cast ballots contrary to the vote totals in their states.
“The States have devised mechanisms to ensure that the electors they appoint vote for the presidential candidate their citizens have preferred. With two partial exceptions, every State appoints a slate of electors selected by the political party whose candidate has won the State’s popular vote,” writes Justice Elena Kagan in the majority opinion.
“Most States also compel electors to pledge in advance to support the nominee of that party. This Court upheld such a pledge requirement decades ago, rejecting the argument that the Constitution ‘demands absolute freedom for the elector to vote his own choice.’
“Today, we consider whether a State may also penalize an elector for breaking his pledge and voting for someone other than the presidential candidate who won his State’s popular vote. We hold that a State may do so.”
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