WASHINGTON (AP) – The Supreme Court ruled unanimously Monday that states can require presidential electors to back their states’ popular vote winner in the Electoral College.
The ruling, just under four months before the 2020 election, leaves in place laws in 32 states and the District of Columbia that bind electors to vote for the popular-vote winner, and electors almost always do so anyway.
So-called faithless electors have not been critical to the outcome of a presidential election, but that could change in a race decided by just a few electoral votes. It takes 270 electoral votes to win the presidency.
The justices had scheduled arguments for the spring so they could resolve the issue before the election, rather than amid a potential political crisis after the country votes.
When the court heard arguments by telephone in May because of the coronavirus outbreak, justices invoked fears of bribery and chaos if electors could cast their ballots regardless of the popular vote outcome in their states.
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