Colorado’s Secretary of State seeks investigation of elector for perjury

Colorado’s Secretary of State seeks investigation of elector for perjury

Secretary of State Wayne Williams announced today that he has referred elector Micheal Baca of Denver to the Attorney General for investigation related to Monday’s Electoral College vote.

According to a statement from Deputy Secretary of State Suzanne Staiert, Baca took an oath to vote for the presidential candidate who won Colorado’s presidential contest on Nov. 8. He then “cast a ballot contrary to the oath.”  Baca wrote in the name of Ohio Gov. John Kasich.bacamichaelvotedballot

Related: How one elector made state history today

Staiert said Baca’s write-in vote violated state law that requires each presidential elector to vote for the presidential candidate who receives the highest number of votes at the preceding general election.

Baca was part of a national movement to encourage electors to write in the name of someone other than President-elect Donald Trump during Monday’s vote. The so-called Hamilton electors, or “faithless electors,” as Williams calls them, hoped that 37 Republican electors would cast votes for Kasich or someone other than Trump, which then would have throw the decision to the U.S. House of Representatives. In the end, however, only two Republicans, both from Texas, chose to vote for someone other than Trump. Five Democrats, not including Baca, voted for someone other than Clinton. Four were in Washington state and the fifth was in Hawaii.

Once Baca wrote in Kasich’s name, he was replaced by an alternate elector, Celeste Landry of Boulder, who then voted for Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, who won the Nov. 8 contest.  The other eight electors also voted for Clinton. Two, in addition to Baca, complained that a last-minute change in the oath of office for the electors, which included a statement that they would vote for the winner of the presidential contest, was unconstitutional and that they took the oath “under duress.”

According to the Secretary of State’s office, electors were warned they could face misdemeanor charges if they did not vote for Clinton at the Electoral College ceremony on Monday. The penalty for misdemeanor perjury is up to two years in jail and up to a $5,000 fine.

“On advice of counsel, I cannot comment,” Baca told The Colorado Independent today.

A call to Attorney General Cynthia Coffman’s spokesperson to ask if she intended to investigate was not immediately returned.

 

Photo credit: Wayne Williams, photo by Secretary of State’s office; Micheal Baca, photo credit Allen Tian, The Colorado Independent

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About the Author

Marianne Goodland

has been a political journalist since 1998. She covered the state capitol for the Silver & Gold Record from 1998 to 2009 and for The Colorado Statesman in 2010-11 and 2013-14. Since 2010 she also has covered the General Assembly for newspapers in northeastern Colorado. She was recognized with awards from the Colorado Press Association for feature writing and informational graphics for her work with the Statesman in 2012.

3 Comments

  1. FIN Denver on said:

    Jesus, Williams. Give it up. Step down unbundle your rightie whities.
    You will end up on the wrong side of history, I the name of power and control.

    Shame on you.

  2. Will Morrison on said:

    I have a BUNCH of problems with this. First off, the law needs to be obliterated, it’s unconstitutional. The EC is supposed to be a deliberative body, where decisions are made supposedly for the good of the country. It’s origins are actually for the support of slavery, but that is beside the point for this discussion. It is the system we have, but this law is NOT defensible as it makes the decision for the electors, which is unconstitutional.

    Second, is this REALLY all the SOS has time to do? Want to prove yourself to be a partisan hack? Here’s how you do it. This is just plain vindictiveness for it’s own sake. And here I thought that we were a better state than that, I guess I was wrong. It’s always SO amusing that there are rich people pulling tricks all over the place, but THEY don’t get this kind of treatment. Funny how the SOS can’t EVER find ANY excuse to go after any of THESE people. Just US. And for what is essentially a political disagreement.

  3. BJ Goral on said:

    Join the National Popular Vote movement. This is a organization that is moving to get state legislatures to pass a National Popular Vote bill. It would guarantee the Presidency to the candidate who won the popular vote. It must be passed in enough states to garner at least 270 electoral vote. This movement now has 165 electoral vote from 11 states that have passes it in their state legislatures and needs 105 more. Colorado’s legislature has not yet passed this bill. Call or write your legislator and ask them to introduce and support this bill. This is a bipartisan movement.

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