Sunday, October 9, 2016

What If Trump Drops Out After Convention?

From Rick Hansen's Election Law Blog, Research Assistant, Zach Krowitz, helped put together this memo on the filling of vacancies on the Presidential ballot.

Here are the applicable Republican National Committee, state ballot access, and state and federal electoral college rules for a scenario in which Donald Trump withdraws from the presidential race after the Republican National Convention.

If Trump were to withdraw, RNC members would elect the new nominee through a majority vote, as dictated by RNC Rule Number 9. The members from each state would, as a whole, be entitled to the same number of votes as the state cast at the convention. If the members of a state do not vote as a block, the votes are split up proportionally among the members.

Restrictions on ballot access for the new nominee would depend on the applicable state laws. A summary of some of these laws can be found below. The type of restriction varies by state. Some states restrict the last date a vacancy for a major party nominee can be filled. Most states, it seems, have a final deadline for which the major party must certify its nominee for the general election ballot. Nevada, on the other hand, has a deadline, July 22, after which the Secretary of State cannot change the general election ballot.

There are also some restrictions on presidential electors to the electoral college. Federal law allows for electors to be replaced, if necessary, at any point before the meeting of the electoral college. State law dictates when presidential electors must be certified to the appropriate state election body (these laws can be found below with the ballot access rules). State laws also dictate to whom the electors are pledged. Some electors are pledged to specific candidates, while others pledge to support the nominee of the party they represent. In most cases, the electors will not be impacted by a change in the party’s nominee because they are either bound to the party’s nominee, not the specific candidate, or not legally bound at all (see the state by state rules below).

CLICK HERE to read the 14 page memo.

But with early voting already underway, I do not know how it might work. I did read in an op-ed, maybe the Electors should select Pence as their Presidential nominee.

NYC Wins When Everyone Can Vote! Michael H. Drucker
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