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Federal court rules Electoral College members can ignore their states' popular votes when picking the president


This ruling is limited and applies only to six states. This case could end up before the Supreme Court

Jb Reed/Bloomberg via Getty Images
A federal judge ruled this week that members of the Electoral College are allowed to vote for presidential candidates even if these votes contradict the popular vote in their states.

What's the background?

In 2016, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton won the popular vote in the state of Colorado. Normally this would entitle her to all of that state's nine electoral votes. However, one elector decided to break ranks and cast his vote for Ohio Gov. John Kasich. That elector, Michael Baca, had hoped that enough electors would join him across the country to keep Donald Trump from getting the electoral votes he needed to become president. While there have periodically been "faithless electors" like Baca throughout the country's history, there have never been enough to sway a presidential election.

Six other electors across the country had also voted for someone other than the candidate who had won their state in 2016.

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