Politics

El Paso's electoral college member under pressure not to vote for Trump

Texas electors meet in state capitol Dec. 19

El Paso's electoral college member...

EL PASO, Texas - The El Paso Republican selected by his party to serve in the Electoral College told ABC-7 he has received hundreds of letters from Americans urging him not to vote for Donald Trump.

Trump stunned Americans by defeating Hillary Clinton November 8th. The former secretary of state won the popular vote, but the billionaire real estate mogul won the White House through the electoral vote.

On December 19th, the 538 electors selected by the Republican party across the country will meet in their states and the District of Columbia to formally cast their ballots. Republican electors are under pressure to vote for Clinton or another Republican.

David Thackston is the elector for the Texas electoral district that includes El Paso. He has been getting hundreds of letters from across the country urging him not to vote for Donald Trump.

Some ask him to vote for Clinton, others to vote for some other Republican. Texas doesn't have a law requiring electors to vote in accordance with the state-wide results, but electors do take an oath that they will vote as instructed by the general public.

Thackston said that most of the letters have been respectful, and that he's read about three quarters of the ones he's received so far.

He states he won't bow to the pressure, unlike two other Texas electors so far - one who resigned, and one who announced in a New York Times editorial this week he will vote for someone other than Trump, likely John Kasich.

"The people that rise in their party to the point where their voters have the confidence to elect them as a presidential elector are steadfast, stalwart Republicans and are not going to be persuaded by the nature of the letters that we've been getting," Thackston said.

While many states have laws requiring electors to vote in line with how the state voted, there is no constitutional provision or federal law requiring it.

That has led to a campaign to reach out to individual electors to convince them of voting otherwise, in large part by people upset about Trump's looming presidency.

While there has never been a presidential election outcome changed by so-called "faithless electors," there have been a number of electors not voting as expected over the history of the United States.

The 38 Republican electors in Texas will be traveling to the state capitol to vote on the 19th.


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