Secretary of State Wayne Williams responds to Colorado elector lawsuit

Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams called a lawsuit filed by two Colorado electors "appalling."

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams called a lawsuit filed by two Colorado electors “appalling.”

The lawsuit was filed in federal court Tuesday against Williams, the governor, and the attorney general in a last-ditch attempt to keep President-elect Donald Trump out of office.

Robert Nemanich of Colorado Springs and Polly Baca of Denver are suing for an injunctive relief so that Colorado electors can vote their conscience, rather than the popular vote.

Trump needs 270 electoral votes to officially become the next President of the United States. Based on the November election results, he has those votes.

Colorado’s electoral votes are slated to go to Hillary Clinton, but Nemanich and Baca want to change state law so they can vote for a different candidate.


The two believe Trump is unfit to serve and want to choose a different Republican who is fit for office. But to get that person into office, all Democrat electors along with 38 Republican electors would have to vote for that candidate instead of Clinton or Trump.

“When I actually looked at it, it was even worse than I thought,” said Williams. “They made a commitment. They made a pledge and now they want to break that trust and faithlessly vote for whomever they feel like. But it’s not to vote for Hillary Clinton and it’s not to vote for Donald Trump. It’s to vote for some unnamed third party that not a single person in Colorado voted for.”

Williams said the whole idea is “arrogant” and discounts the votes of nearly 3 million people.

“I was surprised by it, because you normally trust that people will do what they’ve promised to do, particularly when there’s a law saying they have to,” he said. “And I’m troubled by it. I’m troubled by the concept that says we think we’re better than the regular people who voted. That’s not what our nation is based on.”

Williams said the election is over and the people have spoken.

“Every time we have an election there are some people who don’t get their way,” Williams said. “Colorado has elections every fall. The United States has presidential elections every four years. There’s a process to follow if you want different people in office, and once the people have spoken, once they have had the election, it’s not the role of elites to come in and say, ‘Well, they made the wrong decision.’ That’s what happens in dictatorships.”

When asked what the argument would be for people who say the will of the people was to elect Clinton, who won the popular vote, Williams responded with an analogy.

“If you watch the World Series, we don’t total the number or runs in every game, we look at who won the most games,” he said. “If you look at the standards set in the Constitution, they were set so that each state plays a role.”

“The election’s not determined based on what happens in California and New York. It’s based on what happens throughout the United States and every state and the people in every state get to have a voice in that,” Williams added.

Williams said he believes the electoral college plays an important role, but he said if people don’t like it, there is a proper way to change it.

“There’s a process for making changes and it’s not a military junta, it’s not faithless electors,” he said. “It is set up in the Constitution itself for individuals who want to change the way that we run this nation.”

Williams doesn’t believe Nemanich and Baca will be successful, and is confident the courts will uphold Colorado law. But he said if somehow they were successful, going forward, choosing electors would be more important than choosing the president and parties could put forth a moderate candidate during the campaigns and then suddenly switch to an extreme one during the actual vote.

“You have a scenario in which parties could put up a candidate that sounded really good and then have their electors vote for somebody else one those electors were selected. That allows mischief, it allows conspiracies and all sore of dire consequences, frankly, to the other election system,” Williams said.

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