Chris Suprun is a Republican Electoral College voter from Texas who said in August that he might go rogue and cast his electoral vote for Hillary Clinton instead.
Suprun said he might not vote for Trump because he was “saying things that in an otherwise typical election year would have you disqualified,” reported Politico in August. Now he tells the New York Post that he “always planned to vote for his party’s nominee” when the Electoral College electors cast their votes on Dec. 19.
As explained by CBS, the Electoral College takes place five weeks after the election. There are 538 electors -- one for each congressional district, plus two for the senate seats. Each state determines how its electors are chosen. The electors’ ballots are counted on Jan. 6, at which time the election results become official.
However, about half the states do not bind their electors to the winning candidate, enabling “faithless electors” to vote for another candidate if they choose.
Even in the 26 states and D.C. which bind their electors to vote for their promised candidates, the state does not have the power to change a faithless elector’s vote, and no faithless elector has ever been punished, according to votesmart.org.
In U.S. history, there have been 157 faithless electors, and they’ve never decided a presidential election, notes Fairvote.org.
The largest number of faithless electors was in 1872, when 63 electors did not cast their votes for the Democratic victor, Horace Greeley, who died shortly after the election.
There have been only seven faithless electors since World War II, with one in each of the 1948, 1956, 1960, 1968, 1972, 1976 and 1988 elections.
In the 1972 election, Republican elector Roger McBride -- co-creator of the TV show “Little House on the Prairie” -- cast his vote for the Libertarian candidate instead of Richard Nixon, who won that year’s election in a landslide over Democrat George McGovern.