Let's Talk Sense...

Monday, December 18, 2000 Volume XXV, No. 43
Roswell, New Mexico

In this issue:

The Electors
First Monday-----Today!
Federal Statute
New Mexico Statute


[Editor's Note: LTS has been on the East Coast for the past week and mostly out of the loop---we have hundreds of e-mails to respond to and may very well have missed some key news items which we will allude to below.]


The Electors

"...the first Monday after the second Wednesday in December..."
3 U.S.C. § 7 (June 25, 1948, ch 644, 62 Stat. 673)

We don't know if it is just us, but we have not heard any reference at all to one lingering doubt/fear we have about December 18th.

Like everyone else, we have seen numerous stories regarding appointments by Bush and the exhaustive work of his transition team, busy naming every member of the upcoming administration, from Secretary of State to ambassador to Burkina Faso.

What we have not seen anywhere (and may have missed, see note above) are any doubts expressed about the possibility of Bush not getting elected. "What? I thought he was already elected!" you say. Well, no. Theoretically he has "earned" 271 electoral votes. But in fact he has "won" nothing. Electors won their individual races in 30 states for Bush. It would actually be more accurate to say that teams of electors pledged to Bush won in 30 states. Those teams total 271 members. But, as we have painstakingly pointed out through the years, each and every one of the 538 electors in the country is a free agent. He, or she, can vote for anyone he chooses.

Well, we know the odds are greatly against anyone flipping, not voting, or something else. But, speaking as an elector myself, I can tell you that during the time New Mexico was in doubt I was called six times (WSJ, Bloomberg News Service, AP, Newsday, Knight-Ridder and CNN) and questioned about whether or not I would "vote for Gore if he won the popular vote nationwide."

Think of how much more pressure an intense DNC/Gore-Lieberman full court press might have sounded. All they would have to find would be three people out of 271 and Gore would be president. We should know sometime late this afternoon if they were successful. These votes, after all, are not secret.

Federal Statute

Title 3, United States Code

3 U.S.C. § 7 Meeting and Vote of Electors

The electors of President and Vice President of each State shall meet and give their votes on the first Monday after the second Wednesday in December next following their appointment at such place in each State as the legislature of such State shall direct. (June 25, 1948, ch.644, 62 Stat. 673)

3 U.S.C. § 8 Manner of Voting

The electors shall vote for President and Vice President, respectively, in the manner directed by the Constitution. (June 25, 1948, ch.644, 62 Stat. 673)

New Mexico Statute

Presidential electors for the State shall perform the duties of the presidential elctors required by law and the Constitution of the United States. (1-15-5, NMSA, 1978)

Presidential electors of the State shall meet at 11:00 a.m. in the office of the Secretary of State on the day fixed by the laws of the United States. (1-15-6-A, NMSA, 1978)

At such meeting the presidential electors shall organize by choosing a presiding officer and a secretary. (1-15-6-B, NMSA, 1978)

If the full number of electors required by law are not present at such meeting for any reason, those presidential electors present shall, from a list of names nominated by the State chairman of that party, forthwith choose electors from the voters of that State party. (1-15-6-C, NMSA, 1978)

The presidential electors of the State shall meet at noon in the office of the Secretary of State on the day fixed by the laws of the United States for presidential electors to cast their ballots for President and Vice President and shall proceed to vote by ballot for President and Vice President of the United States...All presidential electors shall cast their ballots in the electoral college for the candidates of the political party which nominated them as presidential electors. Any presidential elector who casts his ballot in violation of the provisions is guilty of a fourth degree felony.
(§§ 1-15-8 and 1-15-9, NMSA, 1978)