The four people in Hawaii tasked with casting the state’s Electoral College votes have asked President Barack Obama to release to electors the CIA report on Russia’s computer hacking designed to influence the presidential election.
“The information contained in the report is essential to carrying out our constitutional obligation of casting our vote in an election that is free from tampering from outside entities,” the four electors wrote in their letter to the president. “Ten electors from other states and some members of Congress have already made this request.We wish to add our names to the list.”
Hawaii has four electoral votes. The electors — John Bickel, Janice Bond, Marie (Dolly) Strazar and David Mulinix — were selected by the Democratic Party of Hawaii at its convention in May.
The Democratic Party of Hawaii’s convention in May, when the four presidential electors were chosen.
Cory Lum/Civil Beat
Democrat Hillary Clinton won Hawaii and won the popular vote nationally by nearly 3 million votes. But Republican Donald Trump took 306 Electoral College votes to Clinton’s 232 — well over the 270 needed to win.
As New York magazine reported, if 37 of the electors committed to Trump voted for someone else, no candidate would secure the 270 needed for a majority.
That would send the election to the U.S. House of Representatives, where each state delegation would get one vote to pick from among the top three candidates. Republicans control the majority of state delegations.
Electors are scheduled to meet Monday in their respective states to cast their votes for president and vice president. The votes will then be sent to the U.S. Senate, where Vice President Joe Biden will preside over the count.
The 538 delegates to the Electoral College can vote for the candidate of their choice, although it’s rare for them to go against the candidate who won the popular vote in their state. There have been reports of possible defections.
Meanwhile, members of both parties on Congress are now calling for separate investigations of Russia’s involvement.
Still, few expect a change in the election’s outcome.
“Despite media coverage, social media chatter and announcements from a handful of electors who have made their protest votes public, it’s unlikely that electors will defect in significant numbers,” The Hill said Wednesday.
Trump has denounced the CIA report while Clinton has asked for more information to be made public. Obama has asked the intelligence agencies to report to him before he leaves office Jan. 20 about what they know about election interference.
Bickel said he and Hawaii’s other electors signed a pledge to vote for the Democratic nominee. He said it is important for electors to know what the CIA found.
“There may be information indicating that Russian meddling with the election, and as an elector I would like to know if the information may be relevant,” said Bickel. “We don’t know if Russia was involved with emails, with the press, or — more frightening — with electronic voting systems. I just want to know.”
Tim Vandeveer, chair of the Democratic Party of Hawaii, supports the inquiry
“Obviously this is something that needs to be investigated further to make sure there is integrity in our elections process,” he said. “I encouraged John to contact the others and start the discussion to figure out what they wanted to do.”
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