President Obama cruised to a big re-election victory three weeks ago, but there are apparently a few folks who believe this wasn’t the end of the 2012 presidential election.
A state senator from north-central Idaho is touting a scheme that’s been circulating on tea party blogs, calling for states that supported Mitt Romney to refuse to participate in the Electoral College in a move backers believe would change the election result.
Sen. Sheryl Nuxoll, R-Cottonwood, sent an article out on Twitter headed, “A ‘last chance’ to have Mitt Romney as President in January (it’s still not too late).” […]
Nuxoll said she received the article by email and decided to share it on Twitter. “I post for people to see and think about things and reflect about things,” she said. “I don’t know if it’s realistic.”
It’s not realistic.
Here’s the pitch, which seems to have been crafted by Tea Party Nation founder Judson Phillips: Romney won 24 states in the election, and if electors from 17 of those states refuse to participate in the Electoral College, the college would have no quorum, and it’d be up to the U.S. House of Representatives to elect the president.
The problem – well, one of the problems – is that those who believe this nonsense are relying on the 12th amendment, which says, “[I]n choosing the President, the votes shall be taken by states, the representation from each state having one vote; a quorum for this purpose shall consist of a member or members from two-thirds of the states.” This refers, not to the Electoral College, but the U.S. House of Representatives.
There is no quorum needed in the Electoral College. Like far too many right-wing ideas, this one is rooted in confusion and ignorance.
The Idaho Statesman talked to constitutional scholar David Adler, director of the Andrus Center for Public Policy at Boise State University, who said the idea is “really a strange and bizarre fantasy” that has “no basis in federal law or the architecture of the Constitution.”
When your wacky uncle sends you an email about there being one “last chance” to elect Romney, keep this in mind.